What are the next steps in Pilot Flying J investigation?

10:05 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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A lot of rapid movement this week with the Pilot Flying J case may soon slow down, according to one Knoxville lawyer who has handled similar cases in the past.

"This kind of case takes a long time," Richard Gaines with the firm Daniel and Daniel said Friday.

On Monday, the FBI and IRS raided the truck stop company's West Knoxville headquarters. Four days later, authorities released a detailed affidavit that explained more about the alleged fraud case.

However, Gaines does not expect the fast pace of information this week will continue.

"I've worked on a couple of these kind of cases where it's taken six to seven years before it gets to a jury trial," he said.

Gaines has worked on a number of lawsuits involving the IRS, and said while many of the cases are different -- they normally follow the same pattern of investigation.

Getting documents, seized that Monday raid, was the first major step -- granted tedious, Gained added.

"The data and the amount of data is tremendous is huge. It could take another year to get the thing ready for the grand jury."

While the feds will scour through computer files and raw data, they are expected to call on testimonies.

"At some point also, as this process continues through the paper investigation, there will be attempts of the federal authorities to interview people with either the company or people who might be victims," Gaines said.

If or when investigators feel they have enough evidence for any indictments, they will send it over to a federal grand jury. Gaines said in these cases, federal prosecutors want to make sure they do have a case.

"A federal judge has signed their names to a search warrant. That's troubling, that's troubling."

Gaines said no criminal charges have been filed, and stressed there is no guarantee they ever will.

"No one is guilty in our system of justice until the jury comes back with a guilty verdict," he said.

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