By Walter F. Roche Jr., The Tennessean
A Wisconsin trucking firm has filed a class action suit in federal court in
Illinois charging Pilot Flying J and its chief executive, Jimmy Haslam III,
with racketeering in the wake of a federal probe of a rebate
by federal officials.
The suit filed Wednesday is the fifth to be filed against the truck stop
chain and the first to name Haslam as a defendant. Also named in the suit are
Pilot's president and top sales executives, whose names appeared in a 120-page
affidavit filed in U.S. District Court last week in Knoxville.
In the 36-page complaint, attorneys for Edis Trucking, Inc. of Franksville,
Wisc., charged that Haslam and other top Pilot executives executives conspired
to reduce rebates that had been promised to Edis and other trucking companies.
The suit is the latest in a series to be filed in state and federal courts
across the country following an April 15 raid on Pilot's Knoxville headquarters
by the FBI and IRS.
Haslam, the suit charges, engaged in or caused Flying J "to participate in a
scheme to defraud class members by false promises."