Federal judge asked to delay sentencing for former Pilot Flying J employees in FBI probe

Delay suggests FBI probe continuing into 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge is being asked to delay scheduling a sentencing date for seven former Pilot Flying J employees who have entered guilty pleas for their role in an alleged scheme that cheated trucking companies across the country.

Both federal prosecutors and defense attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar to reset a scheduled status conference discussing possible sentencing dates until February 3, 2014.

The joint motion was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Hamilton and defense attorney Edward Yarbrough.

Yarbrough represents former Pilot Flying J regional sales director Arnold Ralenkotter who pleaded guilty to his role in the alleged rebate fraud scheme.

According to court documents, "the status of this matter remains unchanged" and "neither party is requesting the court to schedule a sentencing date at this time".

Sources close to the investigation said this is one indication that the federal probe into Pilot Flying J is taking longer than initially expected and that "tens of thousands" of documents obtained from the company still must be sorted through by federal prosecutors.

Pilot Flying J. CEO Jimmy Haslam has not been charged with any wrongdoing and denies any knowledge of alleged fraud.

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