Pilot Flying J under federal scrutiny
FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents on Monday locked down the headquarters of Pilot Flying J, the truck stop business owned by the family of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and his brother, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
FBI spokesman Marshall Stone told The Associated Press that the move was part of an ongoing investigation, but he would not provide additional details. FBI and IRS agents were expected to remain in the building into the evening, he said.
The FBI was keeping all traffic away from the company property, and Knoxville police patrol cars and officers could be seen outside the headquarters.
“Any details that would be released to the public would not be available for some time,” Stone said.
The company doesn’t know why FBI officials closed the headquarters but is cooperating with authorities, spokeswoman Lauren Christ said in a statement. Pilot Flying J retail operations remain open, she said.
Jimmy Haslam stepped down as company CEO after buying the Browns from previous owner Randy Lerner in a $1 billion deal in August. He was previously a minority owner of the rival Pittsburgh Steelers but sold his stake in the team.
Pilot then brought in John Compton, who had been with PepsiCo Inc. for 30 years and its president for less than a year, to replace Haslam as CEO.