Pilot Lauds Denial Of Witness Tampering Claim - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Pilot Lauds Denial Of Witness Tampering Claim

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FILE - In this Friday, April 19, 2013 file photo, Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J, speaks during a news conference at the company headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo) FILE - In this Friday, April 19, 2013 file photo, Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J, speaks during a news conference at the company headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Knoxville judge's has denied a claim that Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam is tampering with potential witnesses in a lawsuit stemming from an FBI raid on the country's largest diesel retailer.

Knoxville Circuit Judge Harold Wimberly on Monday rejected a motion by Atlantic Coast Carriers Inc. of Hazlehurst, Ga., to block Haslam, who also owns the Cleveland Browns, from contacting customers identified in FBI court filings as having been underpaid fuel rebates due from Pilot.

Pilot spokesman Tom Ingram said the privately owned company is delighted by the ruling, calling it "outrageous" to suggest Pilot shouldn't be allowed to discuss matters with customers.

The FBI alleges members of Pilot's sales team deliberately withheld rebates to boost Pilot profits and pad sales commissions. No criminal charges have been filed.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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