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Pilot/Flying J settlement hearing today
Part of $70 million lawsuit by customers who were cheated out of fuel rebates
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
Pilot/Flying J truck stops -- headed by Cleveland Browns' owner Jimmy Haslam -- is due in a Little Rock court today for a hearing on the $70 million lawsuit by customers who were cheated out of fuel rebates. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports.
Pilot/Flying J settlement hearing today

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Pilot/Flying J is the nation's largest diesel fuel retailer. It’s been under criminal investigation for more than a year, and when word of that broke in April, the civil lawsuits began. The company is accused of withholding rebates to boost profits and pad sales commissions, and though Haslam has denied any direct knowledge, the company has reached a re-payment agreement with about 6,000 customers, who would also get 6 percent interest. A judge is slated to decide during today’s hearing in Arkansas whether to approve the settlement.

But several dozen companies have opted out of the settlement and are suing the Nashville company on their own. One -- Columbus-based FST Express -- sued last month, alleging it lost more than $75,000 in the rebate scheme, and that it dealt with two sales executives who have already pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges. Prosecutors have obtained guilty pleas from five other people in the scheme as well.
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