Haslam, Pilot Flying J deal hits $72 million in settlement costs over alleged fuel rebate fraud

Extent of fuel rebate costs revealed in documents

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam's Knoxville-based company is expected to spend $72 million to settle a federal class action lawsuit over alleged fuel rebate fraud.

New details involving the extent of the alleged fraud were revealed in documents filed late  Monday in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Ark.

The filings are in advance of a Nov. 25, 2013 fairness hearing where a proposed settlement is scheduled for final approval.

According to documents filed on behalf of 10 trucking companies that filed the lawsuit, Pilot Flying J's cash offer was described as "an extraordinarily good settlement" on behalf of trucking companies that are owed fuel rebates.

The total value, according to court documents is approximately $72 million and includes interest, costs of audits, administration, attorney fee and additional $10-thousand dollars for each trucking company in so- called "incentive awards".

Attorney fees are expected to reach  $14 million as well as another $52,245.84 in attorney expenses.

Trucking companies taking part in the settlement must agree not to sue Pilot Flying J at a later date.

Pilot Flying J estimates that of 7,000 trucking company accounts it has audited, the company says it "has found nearly 2,500 accounts that had "discrepancies" regarding fuel rebates.

However, not all trucking companies that did business with Pilot Flying J are willing to take part in the proposed settlement deal.

Pilot estimates that at least 150 companies have "opted out" of the settlement and may continue a legal fight to recover what they claim is owed them.


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