FBI, IRS still tight-lipped day after Pilot Flying J headquarters raid

MGN Online

MGN Online

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- On the day after federal agents raided the headquarters of Pilot Flying J, the truck stop business owned by the family of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and his brother, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, federal agents remained mum as to why they were there.

On Monday, FBI and IRS agents locked down the Pilot Flying J offices on Lonas Drive as agents spent most of the day there, even bringing in a U-Haul truck.

They have not released the reason behind the raid, although, the U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed it was part of an ongoing investigation. IRS officials did acknowledge that anytime they're involved, the investigation could be financial or tax-related.

According to a company statement, "As of the afternoon of April 15, FBI officials have sequestered the Pilot Flying J headquarters on Lonas Drive in Knoxville."

"At this time, we do not know the nature of the situation. Pilot Flying J is cooperating fully with the authorities. Pilot Food Marts, Pilot Travel Centers and Flying J Travel Plazas remain open and continue to serve the public. Pilot Flying J is confident that the matter will be resolved fully."

Jimmy Haslam stepped down as company CEO after buying the Browns last summer. He returned as CEO in February, replacing former PepsiCo President John Compton.

NFL.com quoted Jimmy Haslam saying, "We will cooperate appropriately with any and all external investigations and conduct our own. I believe and trust there has been no wrongdoing. The integrity of our company always has been job No. 1."

Bill Haslam has no position with the company but still has an unspecified holding in it, according to his limited financial disclosures.


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