Recent Pilot departures previously named in FBI docs

More of Pilot Flying J's top executives are out of a job.

WBIR 10News learned three more executives with the Knoxville-based company were recently terminated, while another two employees were placed on administrative leave.

The staff changes come more than a year after the FBI raided Pilot's headquarters and just one day after two other big names in the company left their posts.

Previous Story: Five top Pilot execs out, two more on leave

Some of the names released to WBIR 10News Tuesday have been mentioned in federal documents tied to the Pilot trucking rebate scheme.

KEVIN HANSCOMB - Director of Sales for the East Region

One name that stood out was Kevin Hanscomb. He was terminated as Pilot's director of sales for the East Region.

Previous Story: Pilot 'Manuel' rebate probe impacts race relations

WBIR 10News previously reported that Hanscomb was the Pilot employee in affidavits who was accused of trying to take advantage of Hispanic customers who might misunderstand English.

Hanscomb declined comment on his job status Tuesday when reached by phone.

HEATHER JONES - Regional Account Representative

Heather Jones was also another name who was tied to a familiar face.

The Knoxville-based regional account representative was one of two employees who were recently placed on leave by Pilot.

Jones used to work under Brian Mosher.

Previous Story: 3 former Pilot sales executives admit fraud in federal court

Mosher pleaded guilty to a felony charge of wire fraud and mail fraud in connection to the rebate scheme case.

According to FBI affidavits, every month Jones would send an email to Mosher that contained an Excel file. The file listed all of the customers who were due a rebate amount from Pilot.

After that, the documents said Mosher would engage in fraud by typing into the Excel file reduced amounts to be paid to Pilot's customers. The affidavits said Jones would then take the doctored files and send rebate checks to customers with incorrect numbers.

Both Hanscomb and Jones had a number of items seized from them during last year's Pilot raid.

Agents took a laptop and iPad from Hanscomb. They also confiscated documents from Jones' cubicle that contained customer information and discount training materials.

All of the employees who were recently placed on leave or terminated also had all of their emails taken by the FBI.

VIDEO: Legal analysis by Dennis Francis

WBIR 10News Legal analyst Dennis Francis said it's likely coincidental to have all of these staff changes happen at once.

"You know it could mean anything," he said. "It could mean the internal report, the internal investigation that we were promised within a few weeks of this (raid), last April, is now done and Pilot is going to come forward with some recommendations."

Francis did say one thing struck him as odd about Tuesday's developments.

Two of the employees terminated, Ron Carter and Jon Sigurdson, work in Canada.

He said he was curious if criminal charges could soon be coming out of that country because of Pilot's business dealings there.

"Well, they had a fairly large footprint in Canada, particularly, Western Canada," Francis said. "I mean they're certainly not selling $35 billion worth of gasoline in the United States alone."

On Monday, lawyers for Pilot said President Mark Hazelwood and Scott Wombold, Pilot's vice president of national accounts, said their departures had nothing to do with the ongoing investigation regarding that company.

But, when WBIR 10News tried to reach out to the lawyers of the newest named departures, they either did not return the station's calls or opted to say "no comment".


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