KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Several trucking companies that purchase diesel fuel from Pilot Flying J are reviewing their financial records and some are taking legal action after federal agents raided the truck stop giant’s Knoxville headquarters last week.
Atlantic Coast Carriers filed a lawsuit in Knox County Circuit Court saying the company was damaged by Pilot’s misrepresentation of rebate amounts.
Authorities are looking into whether several Pilot Flying J employees knowingly cheated customers out of rebates for large fuel purchases.
One attorney representing ACC said they are still determining the exact amount of money lost for ACC from the rebates.
“It’s a significant number,” attorney Mark Tate said. “We think it’s into the six figures, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We represent several other carriers who have had similar experiences throughout the country.”
Tate said he believes around six more trucking companies are likely to join the class action lawsuit against Pilot Flying J by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, other companies are working to get the money they believe they are owed.
Morehouse Truck Line Inc. in Omaha was named in the affidavit as a victim of the alleged scam.
The office manager, Curt Morehouse, said Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam called twice Monday to discuss finances after Haslam addressed the media.
Morehouse said he believes Haslam is working to do the right thing to help him get the more than $146,000 Morehouse believes his company is owed.
JTM Trucking in San Antonio said it’s also taking a look through all of its financial records.
Owner Jaime Martinez said he suspects Pilot could have shortchanged his company around $10,000 a month for two years, but the exact number is still unclear.
Tate said he believes other companies with similar stories will end up joining ACC in taking legal action.
“When they realized that this extraordinarily financially successful private company owned by Jimmy Haslam, who apparently paid cash for the Cleveland Browns, was taking advantage of them, they felt like they needed to resort to the court system,” Tate said.
He said he is not at liberty to discuss which other companies may join the lawsuit yet.