Pilot Investigation
6:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Pilot Reaches Settlement With Federal Prosecutors

Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

The nation's largest truck stop chain will pay the federal government $92 million over two years and cooperate in a criminal investigation, according to the terms of a settlement reached between Pilot and federal prosecutors on Monday.

The settlement deal means Pilot won't face criminal charges. However, employees of the company are not protected by the agreement. Pilot is required to cooperate in a criminal investigation that continues to probe a long-running fraud scheme in which Pilot sales staff skimmed money that was intended for the company's commercial clients. To date, ten Pilot employees have pleaded guilty to wire and mail fraud for their roles in the scheme.

In the agreement, Pilot took responsibility for staffers' wrongdoing. Pilot must also update federal officials on a program of internal improvements designed to avoid a repeat of the fraud scheme.

"The agreement ensures that Pilot's extensive remediation efforts will continue...until Pilot has demonstrated to the United States that it has implemented sufficient internal controls to prevent this kind of fraudulent activity from ever occurring again," said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian, in a statement released Monday afternoon.

Pilot attorney Aubrey Harwell said the company intends to uphold its end of the settlement.

Last fall, a federal judge in Arkansas gave the green light to a separate $85 million settlement deal in which Pilot agreed to pay about 5,500 of its corporate customers the money they were shorted, plus six percent interest and attorney's fees. 59 Pilot clients opted out of that settlement, which allowed them to pursue their own cases against the company.