Former Pilot exec: Haslam 'loved' trucking rip-off scheme

FILE - In a Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 file photo, former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood, left, leaves federal court after being arraigned, in Knoxville, Tenn. Four former executives, including former Pilot Flying J President Hazelwood, and ex-vice president Scott Wombold, go on trial in Chattanooga on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. (Michael Patrick /Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)

A government witness has testified that Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam "loved it" when the sales team ripped off customers at the trucking company controlled by his family.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the jury in the federal fraud trial of former Pilot Flying J executives and sales representatives heard a recording of former vice president John "Stick" Freeman saying Haslam was aware of the scheme to deprive trucking customers of the diesel discounts they had negotiated.

In Freeman's words: "He knew — absolutely."

Pilot issued a statement after Tuesday's court hearing reiterating that "Jimmy Haslam was not aware of any wrongdoing."

Haslam hasn't been charged in the investigation that has resulted in 14 guilty pleas among former Pilot employees. The former president and three others are on trial.


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