Pilot Flying J ex-president sentenced to 12 ½ years

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The former president of the largest U.S. fuel retailer has been sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison and fined $750,000 in a scheme to defraud trucking companies.

U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier sentenced former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood to 150 months on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed to FOX 8 News.

Hazelwood was convicted this year of conspiracy, wire fraud and witness tampering. The jury heard secret recordings of Hazelwood using racial slurs and profanely criticizing his board of directors and his boss's football team and fans. Hazelwood apologized for his language.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Hazelwood will not be released pending appeal.

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.

Continuing coverage, here.

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