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Pilot sued after repaying company for rebate 'discrepancy'

7:42 PM, Jul 5, 2013   |    comments
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Two more trucking companies have filed lawsuits against Pilot Flying J for rebate fraud. That makes a total of 18 cases filed against the fuel company in state and federal courts.

On July 3, 2013, Townes Trucking of Coffeeville, Mississippi, and R&R Transportation of Audubon, Minnesota, filed federal suits against Pilot Flying J.

The R&R suit differs from the rest of the lawsuits because the company sued after receiving repayment from Pilot on July 1.

Shortly after FBI agents raided Pilot Headquarters in April and affidavits revealed a federal investigation into a scheme by sales reps to intentionally short-change trucking companies on rebates, Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam has promised to review all accounts and pay companies anything owed.

The R&R lawsuit says the company began participating in the rebate program in 2008 and bought an average of 140,000 gallons of diesel every month from Pilot.

After the FBI Raid, the Minnesota company asked Pilot for an audit.  On July 1 the company received a letter from Pilot that stated it "had found "a potential discrepancy" in R&R's account.  Pilot included a check for what it said R&R was short-changed.

The lawsuit does not indicate how much Pilot paid R&R.  However, the company is unconvinced it was repaid the full amount and says "the exact amount of Plaintiff's losses due to the fraud is the subject of ongoing investigation."

Thirteen of the 18 lawsuits against Pilot have been filed in federal court.  All of the lawsuits are asking for class-action status, meaning they want the cases to be combined and merged into a single case.

On Friday afternoon, a Pilot re-issued a previous statement by spokesman Tom Ingram that said, "We've been advised by counsel that class action lawsuits in a matter like this are expected and no surprise. Our counsel will review them as they come and defend them appropriately."

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