tennesseeleaders.com-The Haslam family and privately owned company Pilot Flying J operate over 700 travel centers in 43 states and Canada. There are 31 locations in Tennessee.
The Pilot centers have convenience stores, fast food restaurants and other amenities that truck drivers want.
The Pilot centers sell billions of gallons of gasoline and diesel fuels. In 2015, the company’s sales were reported between $22 – 30 billion. “Pilot is the nation’s largest provider of diesel fuel to over-the-road trucking companies. They sell six billion gallons of fuel annually to more than 5,000 corporate customers…”
In 2014 Billy’s brother Jimmy Haslam, Pilot’s CEO, signed the “Criminal Enforcement Agreement” to settle a large customer rebate fraud case. Pilot had to pay $56 million in restitution to its customers, $92 million in penalties for cheating customers and $14 million in auditing costs. The total – $162 million.
Hmmmm, where will that money come from?
First, let’s look at how Pilot makes money. Selling and distributing (mostly) diesel fuel from their own stores along the interstates: SIX BILLION gallons last year!
Pilot is owned privately by the Haslams (Gov. Bill has refused to put his Pilot ownership in a blind trust, i.e., he is an active owner), so finding financial data is difficult.
Industry research however, gives us a close estimate of the of Pilot’s profits: Fuel distributors make about 4 cents per gallon; retailers make about 1 cent per gallon. Pilot is both a distributor and a retailer, so we can estimate its profits are about 5 cents per gallon.
Pilot sold six billion gallons of fuel nationwide in 2015; that would produce about $300 million in profit.
So Pilot’s $162 million fraud admission has cost them over one half of a year’s profit.