WBIR has learned that three more employees left Pilot Flying J on Monday and another two were placed on administrative leave, according to a source close to the company.
The shake up at the top comes more than a year after the FBI and IRS raided the Pilot Flying J Headquarters in Knoxville over a rebate scheme.
Ron Carter, Kevin Hanscomb and John Sigurdson were terminated, and Heather Jones and Karen Mann, both regional account representatives who work in Knoxville, were placed on leave.
Carter served as director of sales for Canada and lives in Canada, according to a federal affidavit released in April 2013. Sigurdson was a regional sales manager and worked in Canada under Carter.
Hanscomb was director of sales for the East Region and worked remotely and lives in Nasvhille.
Mann's attorney, Jonathan D. Cooper of Stacy, Whitt, Cooper & Trant, released a statement on Wednesday, saying "At this time, I can confirm that my client, Karen Mann, has been placed on administrative leave with pay. I have received no official explanation from Pilot Flying J, and it does not appear to be related to any investigation of the company by the government.
Mrs. Mann has been a dedicated, loyal employee of this company for over 14 years. She remains a dedicated, loyal employee, and is optimistic that she will be able to return to work as soon as the company completes its review of fuel sales."
Attorneys for the others did not return calls seeking comment. Jones' attorney, Washington, D.C.-based Ben Vernia, declined to comment.
On Monday WBIR 10News reported that Mark Hazelwood was out as president of the company, and so, too, was Scott Wombold, vice president of national accounts.
One of Hazelwood's attorneys, Gordon Ball, said Hazelwood would not be commenting.
In a statement to WBIR, Wombold's attorney, John Kelly, said his client "played a key role in helping the company repair many customer relationships during the past 14 months."
He added: "Mr. Wombold's departure from the company is not connected to past guilty pleas entered into by former employees, and any inference that there is a connection is not accurate. Mr. Wombold is grateful for the opportunity to have worked at Pilot Flying J and will assist the company appropriately through this transition. The Company has already stated that it does not comment on personnel matters, and Mr. Wombold respects the company's position and will not offer further comment at this time."
Wombold worked for Pilot for 22 years.
Pilot spokesman Tom Ingram on Tuesday declined to talk about personnel matters but said the company is "committed to cooperate appropriately with the authorities, and take whatever steps it needs to right things with customers and the company overall."
He added: "It's been playing out for a year and will play out for some time to come. In the meantime, the company is doing extremely well and it's business asSo far, 10 former Pilot employees have plead guilty in connection with the rebate scheme.
Throughout the investigation, CEO Jimmy Haslam has denied any knowledge of the scheme which cheated companies out of millions of dollars. usual."
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