NFL won't ask Browns' Jimmy Haslam to step down during FBI investigation

USA TODAY Sports

The NFL will not force Browns owner Jimmy Haslam to step down while he's under federal investigation, and will allow the process to play out.

The NFL will not ask Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam to step down, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Haslam's Pilot Flying J truck stop empire is under investigation from the FBI and IRS for allegedly defrauding customers in a rebate scheme, and Haslam himself is alleged to have been aware of the longtime scheme. Haslam denies any knowledge of fraudulent activities, which the FBI has reportedly been investigating since May of 2011.

The FBI raided Pilot Flying J headquarters in Knoxville (Tenn.) on Monday, but Haslam was in Cleveland, where he is still helping prepare the Browns for the draft. Haslam officially purchased the Browns back in October of 2012, buying the team for $1.05 billion from former owner Randy Lerner. He currently owns 70% of the team, and is scheduled to receive the remaining 30% from Lerner in four years. That deal will obviously be nullified if he has to relinquish his control of the team before then.

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