Pilot Flying J will pay a $92 million fine to settle claims that it defrauded its customers, according to a deal the transportation company struck with U.S. Department of Justice attorneys on Monday.
The deal waves any possible criminal charges against the corporation or its chief executive, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who will also not face any penalty from the NFL because Pilot Flying J admitted to scheming to withhold rebates from customers, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported
"The terms of this agreement, including the significant monetary penalty and the very serious consequences if Pilot fails to comply, demonstrate quite clearly that no corporation, no matter how big, influential, or wealthy, is above the law," U.S. attorney Bill Killian said in a justice department statement.
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"In addition, 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," Killian's statement continued. "The agreement ensures that Pilot's extensive remediation efforts will continue until all trucking company victims have received full restitution and until Pilot has demonstrated to the United States that it has implemented sufficient internal controls to prevent this kind of fraudulent conduct from ever occurring again."
The NFL, through a spokesman, said that the league found no evidence that Haslam, brother of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, violated its personal-conduct policy in connection with the federal probe, according to the Plain Dealer.
"There have been no allegations of any personal conduct that is in violation of NFL policy," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the newspaper.
Fans and onlookers of the investigation greeting the Haslam verdicts with mixed reaction on social media.
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