July 15, 2014 1:45 PM, EDT
Pilot Flying J to Pay $92 Million Penalty for Rebate Fraud
Dave Warner/Trans Pixs

Pilot Flying J has agreed to pay a $92 million penalty to resolve the company’s criminal liability for withholding fuel rebates from customers.

“The terms of this agreement, including the significant monetary penalty and the very serious consequences if Pilot fails to comply, demonstrate quite clearly that no corporation, no matter how big, influential or wealthy, is above the law,” U.S. Attorney William Killian of the Eastern District of Tennessee said in a statement.

As part of the agreement, Pilot acknowledged that fraudulent conduct involving fuel-price discounts took place in its direct sales division and was carried out with knowledge by some management personnel.

The company also acknowledged the practice was encouraged and even taught during an annual sales training meeting at its headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn.

“We, as a company, look forward to putting this whole unfortunate episode behind us, continuing our efforts to rectify the damage done, regaining our customers’ trust and getting on with our business,” CEO Jimmy Haslam said in a statement.

“We’ve been committed from the beginning of this to doing the right thing, and that remains our commitment.”

In May, Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood left the company. Hazelwood was in charge last year during the fuel-rebate investigation.