Two employees of the truck stop chain owned by the family of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam pleaded guilty Wednesday in a federal probe of the company's business practices.
Regional sales director Arnold Ralenkotter pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tenn. Regional accounts representative Ashley Smith Judd also pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
They are the first to be charged in the investigation. Federal prosecutors allege members of Pilot's sales team deliberately withheld rebates to boost Pilot profits and pad sales commissions.
Ralenkotter's lawyer Ed Yarbrough said his client has agreed to cooperate with authorities. Ralenkotter and Judd were charged earlier this month in a document typically used by prosecutors when the targets of an investigation are working with authorities who may eventually charge others.
On April 15, the same day FBI agents raided the company's headquarte...