Ohio trucking company files lawsuit against Jimmy Haslam; 10th lawsuit against Browns owner

Fraud, contract breach alleged

CLEVELAND - A 10th trucking company is now alleging Pilot Flying J cheated it, too, from earned fuel rebates.

An attorney for Ohio Auto Delivery, Inc., filed the civil lawsuit in the Northern District Court of Ohio.

The Grove City, Ohio, company claims on August 13, 2004, it entered into agreement with Pilot Flying J for fuel delivery services. Legal counsel for Ohio Auto Delivery notes in the legal brief the action is part of a class action lawsuit alleging fraud and breach of contract. The court filing does not indicate the amount of damages the central Ohio company is seeking.

In a strange twist to this case Friday afternoon, an additional document was added to the court case. The court could find no record of this Ohio Auto Delivery's attorney's ability to practice law in the Northern District of Ohio. It ordered attorney Adam E. Cromwell apply for admission to practice or file such a motion within the next 10 business days.

Friday's lawsuit filing comes one day after Shoreline Transportation of Alabama filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Alabama.

FBI and IRS agents armed with search warrants raided Haslam's Knoxville, Tennesse-based company April 15 in what an FBI affidavit described as cheating trucking companies of promised fuel rebates.

Haslam has since promised to take dramatic steps to determine who, if any, companies were cheated and in his words "make things right."

Haslam admitted that 250 trucking firms were shorted in promised fuel rebates.

He quickly added that "this does not mean anyone did anything wrong" about the FBI probe into his company Pilot Flying J.

Haslam's admission came before a conference of trucking company executives from across the country held in Indianapolis on Thursday.

"Approximately 250 trucking companies have some type of adjustment in fuel rebates," Haslam said.

Haslam promised that his company will do everything "to make things" right, including paying back any rebates owed plus interest.

Haslam also encouraged trucking companies that may have been shortchanged to bring the issue to his attention rather than hire attorneys and file lawsuits.

Haslam told executives that he can repay their money quicker without tying up issues in court.

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