(Oct. 8, 2013) Pilot Flying J has been hit with yet another suit charging that the Knoxville based truck stop firm cheated its customers out of promised rebates.
The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio by the attorney for FST Express, also of Columbus.
The 19-page complaint reveals for the first time the name of a Pilot executive who has been placed on administrative leave because of the charges detailed in a 120-page FBI affidavit. Pilot CEO James A. Haslam announced that some of his staff had been placed on leave but has declined to identify them.
The complaint states that John Spiewak, a regional sales manager, was placed on leave Sept. 27. Spiewak was one of the Pilot sales executives who dealt with FST, according to the suit.
A Pilot spokesman said he could not comment on personnel matters, but added that the company would defend against the suit as appropriate.
The complaint states that other Pilot sales staff that dealt with FST already have entered guilty pleas.
The suit charges that when FST questioned the amount of a particular rebate, Pilot claimed that the person who regularly computed the rebates was out and the replacement made a mistake.
The suit charges Pilot with breach of contract, fraud and violations of Ohio and Tennessee consumer protection statutes.
More than 20 other suits have been filed against Pilot since the April 15 raid on the truck stop firm's Knoxville headquarters by FBI agents. Seven Pilot executives have entered guilty pleas to mail and wire fraud charges.
A proposed class settlement has been filed in a suit in Arkansas and a hearing on its fairness is scheduled for Nov. 25.