A circuit court judge has ruled that truck stop chain Pilot Flying J, which was raided by Federal investigators last month in relation to alleged fraud on fuel rebates to US trucking companies, can continue to talk to customers in an effort to resolve any disputes.
Attorneys for Georgia trucking firm Atlantic Coast Carriers had asked the court to forbid Pilot Flying J from contacting trucking companies to determine if there was an underpayment in their rebate for diesel fuel purchases.
Jimmy Haslam, Pilot Flying J’s second-gen chief executive, has denied any knowledge of allegations that the company underpaid some of the company’s trucking company customers rebate money they were owed.
“We are delighted with the judge’s decision,” Tom Ingram, a company spokesman, said.
Ingram said the idea that Pilot Flying J should not talk to its customers “is outrageous and would have crippled Pilot’s ability to do business”.
Haslam has held press conferences defending the company’s position, but said he was unable to take questions due to the investigation.
He said it “still appears to us, based on all we know at this time, that this federal investigation is focused on a narrow slice of our business in which rebates on diesel fuel purchases are manually calculated and paid to a relatively small number of our 3,300 trucking company customers”.
Pilot Flying J, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, has hundreds of outlets across the US, providing facilities to truckers. This includes fuel, quick service restaurants and showers.