Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam held a brief press conference on short notice this afternoon. It only lasted about 11 minutes, and we didn't learn much new. But one thing we did learn is that yesterday's raid of Pilot's corporate headquarters by the FBI and IRS is definitely related to a criminal investigation.
Haslam's admission of this is especially notable since a press release sent out shortly before the event declined to state whether the investigation was criminal or not. (Emphasis below is ours.)
FAQsFollowing the events at Pilot Flying J, there were a number of questions asked. Information obviously is limited, but it will be our goal to keep the Pilot Flying J community as informed as possible. Thanks for your interest.Q. Who, if anyone, was handed a subpoena or search warrant?A. Two search warrants were served on the Pilot Flying J campus yesterday and late Monday night. Several subpoenas were served. It is not our place to be more specific.Q. What did the search warrants say?A. We cannot comment on specifics of the warrants, but based on what we know, the investigation appears to revolve around the application of rebates to a small group of Pilot Flying J trucking company customers.Q. What "ongoing investigation" is occurring?A. We do not know details. Apparently, authorities are reviewing information they gathered on Monday. Pilot Flying J is cooperating appropriately with the external investigation and conducting its own.Q. Was it necessary to conduct a "raid"?A. That's not for us to say.Q. Is it a "criminal" investigation?A. That's not for us to say.Q. Are the feds targeting any executives?A. Not to our knowledge.Q. Is this politically motivated?A. That's not for us to say.
Haslam didn't elaborate much beyond the above points in his conversation, except to say that he thinks it is a very small group of customers involved in the rebate program that the feds are looking at, and he thinks the claims of rebates not being issued are without merit. He also said he wasn't sure why the IRS was involved, but he was "very confident" tax issues are not involved. However, Haslam did say of the investigation, "We're prepared for it to take a long time."
WBIR has the entire press conference up, if you want to see it. We'll continue to keep you posted as we learn more.