Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pilot Flying J affidavit reveals possible racism

Reading through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s affidavit seeking the warrant to search Pilot Flying J’s headquarters is like peeling back an onion. One stinking layer of alleged deception after another.

Once you get past the foul language and quoted laughter, it reaches a new level of disturbing. Racism.

The affidavit clearly shows that smaller trucking companies were allegedly targeted by the scam to defraud them out of rebates owed to them. But as you dig deeper and further into the document, it gets worse.

Early on in the document, the FBI details a list of terms used by the sales staff to describe the alleged scheme. Included in that list are the terms “manuel,” “manwell,” and “manny.” All terms to describe the manual calculating of the rebates.

Flipping on through, on Page 83 it certainly raises eyebrows when it’s detailed how language barriers were exploited in the alleged fraud as well.

Kevin Hanscomb, the current director of sales for the east region is quoted as saying:

“They’re not stupid there is just … uh … there is a language barrier. So you can get away with a little bit more because they know that they are not going to understand everything you say. So you can say cost minus, or cost plus 3, and it’s cost plus 5 and they’re not going to go oh well, he’s screwing us … maybe I misunderstood. So there is some forgiveness there that probably isn’t at other parts of the world.”

The comment was made to a confidential informant who worked with the FBI and facilitated tapings of some of the conversations detailed in the affidavit.

The comment above came from a conversation in which Hanscomb was talking to the informant about the ability to reduce discounts in the south Florida area without much consequence because of the language barrier in that region.

It should be noted that Pilot Flying J President and CEO Jimmy Haslam reviewed the same affidavit I’m quoting from over the weekend. He studied it, he said.

He addressed the media on Monday and has continued to issue statements throughout the week.

He talked about a “reputational hit” the company has taken in the course of this investigation. He maintains that the foundation of the company is built on “its integrity.”

A statement released to the media on Wednesday revealed that several members of the sales team were placed on administrative leave on an interim basis.

We are not judging the guilt or innocence of the team members placed on administrative leave. We are addressing actions and words that fail to show proper respect to our customers and that violate the character, values and principles that have been core to this company since it was founded 54 years ago,” the release states.

Stay tuned. Who knows what, if any, layer will be peeled off next.


  1. Surely if this was a book it would be filed under fiction. Who would believe that this would really happen.

  2. Yeah, I agree, it's like the Nazis and the Holocaust, or 911, who would believe this kind of thing actually happens.

  3. @Anonymous...please don't further the colusion as we are NOT stupid and certainly don't have a language barrier. There is a disgusting amount of evidence and statements by Haslam's own management that he was well aware of their illegal activities. This is a slap in the face to hard working drivers, I can't imagine what it feels like to companies that lost 1000's of $$ during an economic time when every friggin' penny counted.

  4. All it takes is a few bad apples to make any company look as bad as it could. Especially once medias are involved. I have no doubt that these comments were not company policies but dumb ass comments made by individuals within the company.

  5. just goes to show just how and why customer service is gone for these so called business`s that rely solely on the small business people that made this country what it was.

  6. When Pilot is mentioned I'm not at all surprised, you get what you pay for. Like their predecessors before, they're bottom feeders.

  7. WOW.......
    If a class action comes forth,or already is PLEASE let me know because i was a pilot/flying J customer as a owner-op in 07-8.
    Been a card holder since 07.
    Wont be getting gas or showers there anymore

    1. Pilot employees of Meridian,Ms is the worst store that I have ever been it. They are so unprofessional, where is the customer service. Even the bald headed manager is rude. So why is the store manager letting all this go on. Maybe this store needs to be investigated.

  8. To claim Racism is just a stupid Media Drama angle. It was just simple unscrupulous dishonest business practices not Racism.

    There were some very greedy and corrupt Middle management Men involved. Ironically it was an honest Employee with a Conscience that got the ball rolling to bust them.

    I have not seen conclusive evidence that Jimmy Haslam knew what was going on, but if he did it does not look good for the whole Company then.
    I think he should sell the Cleavland Browns and use that money to pay customers that were cheated back.

  9. I am a owner/operator and although the company I am leased to was not one being ripped off, my wife and I composed a letter to send in attention to Jimmy Haslam at the Corporate headquarters...5508 Lonas Drive Knoxville, TN 37909. I suggest others do the same, let your voices be heard and hurt them the only place they their financial bottom NOT do ANY business with them again. Please read the letter we composed to send
    Please consider me an ex-customer as I will no longer be frequenting any Pilot Flying J locations. I absolutely refuse to support a company that would not be 100% honest in all aspects of their business. Taking advantage of trucking companies regardless of size is incomprehensible. I am a owner/operator who is leased to a company with less than 100 trucks. Although you will not financially feel the strain of my switch to other truck stop facilities, I trust that most of the people where I am leased feel the same and considering that we each know people with other small carriers, together we wil let you know the actions of Pilot Flying J wil not be tolerated.

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