Plaintiffs against Pilot trying to merge lawsuits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A dozen federal lawsuits filed against the truck stop chain run by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam could be consolidated before a single judge.

The cases stem from a federal investigation into alleged rebate fraud by the sales team at Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J, the country's largest diesel retailer.

Various plaintiffs have asked for the cases to be shifted to federal courts in northern Ohio, southern Mississippi or middle Tennessee.

Pilot wants the cases to be heard in Knoxville, where the company is based and where most of the defendants live. Pilot said it would also agree to handling the cases in Nashville or Chicago.

Five members of the Pilot sales team have pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges and are cooperating with federal prosecutors.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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