KNOXVILLE - The raids carried out by federal agents at Pilot Flying J's Knoxville headquarters and elsewhere this week were the culmination of a nearly two-year investigation.
- May 24, 2011: Confidential Human Source No. 1, (referred to "CHS-1), make the initial contact with the FBI to report "his/her knowledge of fraudulent activity by certain Pilot employees directed at Pilot's customers."
- June 2011: CHS-1 and CHS-2 begin recording a series of conversations with high-ranking corporate officials directly involved in the fraud. From these recordings, the FBI determines that Cathy Giesick, a former Pilot regional sales manager, might have relevant information.
- Oct. 2, 2012: Special agents with the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation division contact Giesick at her home in Temple, Texas. She agrees to cooperate with the investigation.
- Oct. 24-25 2012: CHS-2 secretly records conversations while visiting Pilot headquarters in Knoxville
- Nov. 19, 2012: CHS-2 attends and secretly records a sales meeting at Pilot headquarters in which Director of Sales for National Accounts Brian Mosher teaches deceptive rebate practices
- Dec. 17, 2012: CHS-2 meets with Pilot Regional Sales Manager Scott Fenwick during a business trip to Washington. "Fenwick told CHS-2 that he was engaging in rebate fraud that was costing customers a total of $70,000 to $90,000 in lost rebates each month.
- Jan. 24, 2012: "CHS-2 advised that (Wholesale and Inside Sales Director) Vickie Borden forwarded him an email that stated that Jimmy Haslam and John Freeman were looking carefully at every customer's profit and loss report and consolidating duplicate entries. CHS-2 stated that the increased profit from rebate fraud would be clearly evident to Jimmy Haslam and John Freeman" the affidavit states.
March 7, 2013: CHS-2 relays his conversation with Regional Account Representative Ashley Judd, who admitted that her emails to regional sales managers never mention rebate reductions. Instead, she keeps a file on the reductions in her desk drawer.
- April 14-15, 2013: FBI and IRS-CI agents executed search warrants at Pilot headquarters on Lonas Drive.
Documents in the Pilot Flying J investigation
On the afternoon of Monday, April 15, 2013, the FBI and IRS searched the Knoxville headquarters of Pilot Flying J. These documents lay out federal authorities' case for the search, based on claims of rebate fraud.