A class-action lawsuit was filed against truck stop company Pilot on Friday, furthering the legal action that has stemmed from a FBI investigation into an alleged rebate fraud scheme.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on behalf of Nebraska truck owner and operator Paul Otto and all other Pilot customers since Jan. 1, 2005. The class could include “hundreds, if not thousands” of members, according to the lawsuit, filed by the local office of Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein.
The suit recounts the FBI search warrant affidavit that details recordings from an undercover informant of Pilot employees discussing the rebate fraud. Pilot allegedly preyed on trucking companies and customers by unknowingly reducing company rebates.
A Pilot employee claimed that company CEO Jimmy Haslam, brother of Gov. Bill Haslam, was aware of the scheme.
The suit argues that Pilot is guilty of fraud, deceptive trade practices, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, conversion and fraudulent concealment.
As of Monday morning, a federal judge had not approved the class-action certification of the case. Pilot currently has 3,300 contracts with trucking companies, according to its website.
Asked for comment, Pilot spokesman Tom Ingram said, “Pilot Flying J is aware of the suit and will defend it appropriately.”