Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that Jimmy Haslam tried to bribe pilot executives – NBC Sports

Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that Jimmy Haslam tried to bribe pilot executives – NBC Sports

A decade ago, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam escaped prosecution as part of a wide-ranging investigation (which repeatedly ended in payoffs) over his truck stop company’s habit of shortchanging customers. Now Haslam may be in trouble again.

As originally reported by Bloomberg.com, federal prosecutors in New York City are investigating whether Haslam offered payments to Pilot executives to boost the value of the company’s remaining 20 percent, which was set to be purchased by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

According to the report, the investigation was first disclosed at a court hearing involving a civil lawsuit aimed at determining the value of Pilot’s balance. The more it’s worth, the more Buffett will pay. The less it is worth, the less Haslam’s family will receive.

At a recent hearing, lawyers for Haslam attacked the bribery allegation, which was made in the final stages of an expedited process to resolve the question of Pilot’s value.

“It was a retaliatory action and not something they did as quickly as possible, as one would expect in an expedited proceeding like this,” Pilot attorney Brad Wilson said during the hearing, according to the transcript. (In English: “If this helps you, why did you wait so long to bring it up?”)

“These allegations are, as we have already stated, without merit,” Wilson added. “They are an invention of the defendants who…” . . No convincing answer to a valid contract claim. Should Berkshire decide to investigate these allegations following the completion of this expedited process, Pilot will debunk them. But all that is for another day.”

Many problems could be fixed for another day. Whether prosecutors will find evidence of bribery by Haslam is one of those questions. Whether Berkshire is simply throwing crap at the wall to distract from the real problems is another question.

Whether Haslam might have legal rights against Berkshire because the company may have created a false problem is another matter. As a prominent former New York politician recently learned to his nine-figure chagrin, lies have very real consequences.

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