Pilot Flying J Employees Agree to Plead Guilty
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Two employees of Jimmy Haslam’s Pilot Flying J have agreed to plead guilty in the federal investigation into the Knoxville company.
According to court documents, Arnold Ralenkotter, a regional sales director, will waive an indictment and arraignment by pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
The plea agreement alleges that Ralenkotter “deceptively withheld rebate amounts from Pilot customers.”
If convicted, Ralenkotter could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Regional account representative Ashley Judd has also agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy in the federal case. The indictment accuses Judd of “knowingly and willfully” allowing fraudulently reduced rebate checks to be mailed from Pilot J.
Haslam, owner of the Cleveland Browns, has denied any knowledge of illegal behavior.
Pilot Flying J spokesman Tom Ingram released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
“The statements released by the federal court today do not come as a surprise given what we’ve been learning in our own internal investigations, but are nonetheless disappointing. We want to assure our customers that we are taking every step to correct any wrongdoing that has occurred and to make certain that it does not happen again.”
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