CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.- Former Pilot Flying J employees were sentenced to prison Thursday after being convicted on federal charges stemming from what prosecutors say was a scheme to defraud trucking companies.
According to a press release sent to FOX 8 from the United States Attorney Eastern District of Tennessee, U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier sentenced Scott Wombold to serve six years in prison and fined him $75,000, and sentenced Heather Jones to more than 2.5 years in prison.
Wombold, a former vice president of Pilot Flying J, was convicted of wire fraud. Jones, a former customer account representative for Pilot Flying J, was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
The press release stated that, “Evidence presented at trial proved a scheme to defraud certain Pilot Flying J trucking company customers through false and fraudulent representations and promises of diesel fuel discounts that were intended to induce victim customers to purchase diesel fuel from Pilot Flying J rather than a competitor. The scheme resulted in victim customers being cheated out of their promised diesel fuel discounts. The evidence at trial showed that the scheme’s goals were to increase Pilot’s market share of diesel fuel sales over its competitors, maximize Pilot’s profits, and maximize the scheme-participants’ potential for profit- and commission-based compensation from trucking companies targeted through the scheme to defraud.”
Pilot Flying J is controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The Haslams haven't been charged with any wrongdoing. The governor hasn't been involved in the company in recent years.