CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Jimmy Haslam, the Cleveland Browns and the NFL are most assuredly watching and wondering what will happen next at the Pilot Flying J corruption trial.
Jurors heard a recording of former Pilot Flying J Vice President of Sales John Freeman say of Haslam, "He knew -- absolutely."
Former United States prosecutor Subodh Chandra told said despite the fact the public was already aware of the Freeman allegations, "The fact that they're introducing that recording is significant and what we all need to wait for now is to see what Freeman says on the stand."
Freeman's testimony should be coming soon.
"Number one: does he stand behind the assertion, under oath, that Jimmy Haslam was aware of the fraud against the customers. Number two: is there some other evidence beyond Freeman's testimony that could prove that," Chandra said.
Pilot Flying J released a statement after the testimony stating, "As we have said from the outset, Jimmy Haslam was not aware of any wrongdoing."
In April 2013, shortly after Haslam bought the Cleveland Browns, the Pilot Flying J headquarters, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, was raided by the FBI.
Allegedly, the trucking company had been skimming rebates on diesel fuel purchases by "jacking the discount" -- a technique in which national gas station chains sign up trucking companies to refill exclusively at their rest stops, with the truckers receiving rebates in return. However, when it came time to fulfill those rebates, the people in charge of the gas station chain allegedly provided an incomplete payment, especially to smaller and unsophisticated customers.
This supposedly had been going on for years at Pilot Flying J.