Former prosecutor talks about Pilot Flying J rebate fraud case
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- Could more people be indicted in the Pilot Flying J fraud case?
We spoke to a former federal prosecutor about this case that’s been making headlines since 2013.
“First of all 2013 was just the public view that everyone had but I mean it was obviously going on, the investigation part was what looks to me from about 2010,” said Hugh Ward.
All 8 indicted maintained their innocence Tuesday after leaving the Federal Courthouse.
Unsealed documents show they were part of a conspiracy to scam trucking companies out of thousands of dollars.
Ward is not involved in this case but says it’s possible this investigation is not over.
“I’m just guessing that there’s going to be more. Not a whole lot more, but I think this may be the beginning of the end but it’s not the end,” he said.
The indictment shows John Freeman, a former vice president at Pilot Flying J told employees to treat the conspiracy as a poker game and that they were playing with “funny money.” He didn’t want to quote “get into a moral or ethical conversation.”
The 58 page document shows hundreds of conversations, including one that happened during a meeting at Freeman’s lake house where another VP Steve Wombold was present.
Brian Mosher, who pleaded guilty to the charges in 2013, encourages other employees to take part in the scam. The indictment states : “Know your customer. Know what you’re sending him, know what his preferences are, know how sophisticated he is, okay?”
Ward says this evidence doesn’t necessarily mean a slam dunk for the prosecution.
“Never a slam dunk, there are ways to challenge, for example those wires .. that could be excluded. It is very good evidence.”
It could also convince others involved to testify against each other, or go after the CEO of the company Jimmy Haslam who has continued to say he’s done nothing wrong.