Pilot Flying J, one of the biggest privately controlled businesses in America, is under investigation by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service for concerns over rebates it offered its clients.
Federal investigators raided the headquarters of the Tennessee-based truck stop company on April 15 with staff ordered to leave the building.
The next day second-gen chief executive Jimmy Haslam, who is also owner of the Cleveland Browns football team, held a press conference to confirm that the company is subject to a criminal investigation.
Haslam said: "We don't know a lot. It appears to be centred on a very insignificant number of customers and the application of rebates, that rebates that owed to the customers were not paid. We, of course, disagree with that."
He added: "It does not involve, as best we can tell – and I'm pretty sure we're right – any type of tax issue. So there's no evasion of tax or federal taxes, which candidly is what your suppliers or fuel suppliers worry about."
Pilot Flying J is partly owned by the Haslam family and the private equity group CVC Capital Partners. Jim Haslam founded Pilot Corporation, the main holding company of Pilot Flying J, in 1958.