Browns owner suspends some staff at family company

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says he has suspended several members of the sales team at Pilot Flying J, the family-owned truck stop chain that is under a federal fraud investigation.

FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents last week raided the Knoxville headquarters of the country’s largest diesel retailer. An affidavit filed in federal court alleges a widespread scheme to defraud customers.

Haslam, the privately held company’s CEO and brother of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, didn’t name the people placed on administrative leave. He has denied wrongdoing and dismissed suggestions he step aside from running Pilot or the Browns while the investigation is underway.

Secretly recorded conversations among the sales team said Haslam was aware of at least some instances of employees withholding rebates from Pilot customers.

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