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    Pilot Flying J President Abruptly Departs Company

    Mark Hazelwood leaves 13 months after federal raid.

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A little more than a year after federal officials raided the local headquarters of Pilot Flying J, company President Mark Hazelwood abruptly left his post.

    Nashville attorney Aubrey Harwell confirmed Hazelwood's departure late Monday, according to The Tennessean. Harwell, who represents Pilot Flying J, did not provide any details, including why Hazelwood left, if he resigned or if he was asked to leave.

    Metro Pulse, a media outlet in Knoxville, reported Monday that Pilot Flying J employees learned of Hazelwood's departure in an email from CEO Jimmy Haslam in which he wrote, "Please join me in thanking him [Hazelwood] for his many years of service."

    Sources connected to Pilot Flying J also confirmed that Scott Wombold, who was vice president of national accounts, is no longer with the company, according to The Tennessean.

    Hazelwood's departure comes 13 months after the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service raided Pilot Flying J's Knoxville headquarters on April 15, 2013 in connection with allegations of fraud in the company's fuel rebate program.

    As part of a plea agreement last year, Jay Stinnett, who served as a senior sales director for Pilot Flying J, agreed to cooperate with the FBI and IRS in their investigations into Pilot Flying J. He subsequently pointed the finger at senior members of the company's management team, stating that they were aware of the fraud.

    While Stinnett did not name the offending parties, a warrant affidavit filed in the days after the raid shows Vice President of Sales John Freeman talking openly about how to carry out the rebate fraud with Hazelwood, as CSNews Online previously reported.

    Hazelwood, who could not be reached for comment, has not been charged in the criminal probe, but has been named as a defendant in civil cases, according to media reports.

    Pilot Flying J is a family-owned business that operates more than 650 retail locations and is the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America.

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