Pilot Flying J is facing even more lawsuits. More companies are adding to the already existing lawsuits against Pilot Flying J over a federal investigation that exposed the company’s fraudulent and deliberate withholding of fuel rebates from customers during a seven-year period.
Pascagoula, Miss.-based Industrial & Crane Services filed June 21 to sue Pilot Flying J for breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment, and violation of Tennessee’s Consumer Protection Act. (Pilot Flying J is headquartered in Tennessee.) In another suit, filed July 2, Arka Logistics in Markham, Ill. claims Pilot Flying J (including CEO Jimmy Haslam), to be in violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and mail fraud. Actual and consequential damages are being sought, in addition to punitive damages, treble damages, injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.
Lastly, R&R Transportation, based in Minnesota, is suing Pilot Flying J along with Haslam and other executives for damages, treble damages, injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees and court costs. Its lawsuit is suing based on counts of violations of RICO, breach of contract, fraud fraudulent concealment, violations of deceptive trade practices laws and consumer protection statues, unjust enrichment and conversion.
How did Pilot Flying J get away with its alleged fraudulent rebate practices for so long? Why didn’t truckers and fleet companies catch on? Here’s how the Class Action Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial filed in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, R & R Transportation v. Pilot Corp. et.al. explains it:
“Due to the constant fluctuation of diesel fuel prices, and without access to corporate data that detailed the fraud, the nature of the scheme was particularly difficult for customers to detect. To know whether Defendants were manipulating the discounts or rebates owed to them, customers would have to obtain daily pricing for every truck stop in the country serving their trucks, then compare those prices to what they were invoiced, and then compare the discounts or rebates they received based on those purchases to the amounts they agreed to accept. Defendants routinely targeted trucking companies that they considered “unsophisticated” or unlikely to catch on to the fraud.”
, Pilot Flying J