Pilot Flying J Diesel Rebate Fraud, Did Haslam Know?

Jimmy Haslam, the owner of the Cleveland Browns is being accused of directing the Diesel Fuel Rebate Fraud which was taking place at his families truck stop chain, the largest distributor of diesel to over the road truckers, Pilot Flying J. The two New Jersey trucking companies who filed the documents last friday to federal court are Keystone Freight Corp and National Retail Transportation. These two companies were a part of the lawsuit against Pilot Flying J but opted out of the settlement given in July to multiple trucking companies. The settlement included Pilot Flying J paying a totally of $92 million in fines to be distributed in the next two years in exchange for the agreement to not be prosecuted by the government. However the agreement does not include individual prosecution. Haslam has not been charged, however 10 Pilot Flying J employees have been charged, have plead guilty and are now cooperating with the investigation. Haslam continues to assert his innocence stating he had no idea his employees were defrauding customers. The document by the two trucking companies accuses Pilot Flying J of teaching employees to defraud trucking companies, stating that Haslam never intended for Pilot Flying J to honor its fuel rebate agreement to trucking companies, and that they would manually adjust and reduce the rebates that were due. Different Pilot Flying J travel centers had different rebate deals which made it challenging for trucking companies to really keep track.



Government has two options on the table for finding reliable transportation funds

The last time congress truly helped transportation funding revenue was when Bill Clinton had just become president. Now because of certain revenue shortfalls congress will be forced to reassess transportation funding by May.

The Two Major Bi-Partisan Options

1. Simply raise the federal gas tax and ideally raising it in accordance to inflation rates, if they had done this in 1993 (the last time they raised the gas tax) we would not be so short on transportation funding. The one issue with gas taxes is with todays technology, cars are becoming more and more fuel efficient and with the Tesla running completely on electricity, who knows how efficient this tax will be.

2. Obama and some other republicans are favoring a different approach. They would like to raise the money through corporate tax returns and putting it into transportation. The revenue however would be a one time fund and although it would provide years of continuous funding there are no promises it will leave transportation in a better place once the money runs out.


For more information go to the Washington Post>>