Browns owner Jimmy Haslam sued by trucking company

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

One trucking company is already suing Pilot Flying J.

Cleveland Browns owner and Pilot Flying J owner Jimmy Haslam is being sued by Atlantic Coast Carriers in a class-action lawsuit, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The lawsuit accuses Haslam and his company of racketeering, and that Pilot Flying J "benefited from inaccurate rebate procedures for certain clients."

Atlantic Coast Carriers is a small trucking company based out of Georgia. After an investigation, an FBI agent in an affidavit is on record saying that Haslam knew about the fraudulent nature of Pilot Flying J, but did nothing to correct its behavior.

Haslam denied any wrongdoing.

Pilot Flying J is accused of withholding promised rebates to its clients. SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber summarized what Haslam's company is accused of doing late last week.

Pilot and its commercial trucking customers enter into agreements to purchase fuel. As part of the deal, Pilot offers its customers rebates or discounts on diesel purchased in volume. Companies buy it on credit extended by Pilot itself, and Pilot sends them bills reflecting the agreed-upon discount. Other companies buy the fuel using credit from a third party. Those customers usually get their discounts in the form of rebate checks.

According to the FBI and IRS, Pilot was intentionally withholding rebates and discounts from unsuspecting customers to increase its overall profits and up the commissions of its sales team.

Unfortunately for the NFL and for Browns fans, this story is likely only at its inception -- with lots of litigation to follow.

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