In a Press Release dated July 14, 2014, your BBB has learned that the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Pilot Travel Centers LLC, doing business as Pilot Flying J, signed a Criminal Enforcement Agreement with the federal government to settle the company’s criminal liability for the fraudulent conduct of its employees in deceiving hundreds of customers by withholding diesel fuel discounts. According to the Press Release, the Agreement was the outcome of a “lengthy joint-investigation by the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct at Pilot.”
As stated in the Criminal Enforcement Agreement, Pilot accepted legal responsibility for its employees’ actions which caused more than $56 million in loss to its customers and agreed to make full restitution and further agreed to pay a $92 million penalty. According to the Agreement, among the circumstances considered in imposing the penalty was the fact that Pilot Flying J, with its affiliates, “is the largest provider of diesel fuel to over-the-road trucking companies in the U.S., selling approximately 6 billion gallons of diesel fuel to more than 5,000 corporate customers annually, and that the Company is the largest operator of travel centers in the U.S., with more than 563 retail locations in 44 states, and, with its affiliates, employs more than 23,000 people.”
According to the Press Release, Pilot confirmed in the Agreement that “fraudulent conduct involving diesel fuel price discounts was prevalent within its Direct Sales group and further confirmed that “supervisory employees encouraged participation in discount fraud for the company’s benefit.”
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian stated in the Press Release that “the company’s agreement to fully cooperate with the United States, including its obligation to identify its employees’ criminal conduct, will assist the ongoing federal investigation.”
In addition to making monetary restitution and paying the fine, according to the Criminal Enforcement Agreement, Pilot agreed to periodically report to the United States what internal accounting controls and other compliance procedures it has set up to prevent a recurrence of the fraudulent conduct, to make leadership changes related to the Direct Sales group, to significantly enhance its ethics program, and to take personnel action against individuals who participated in the fraudulent conduct.
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