By CHUCK BARTELS
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A federal judge in Arkansas has approved $84.9 million in payments to settle claims that a truck stop chain cheated trucking companies out of promised rebates.
The payments include interest on money due to about 6,000 companies that purchased fuel from Nashville-based Pilot Flying J since 2005. An additional $14 million goes to the lawyers.
The truck stop chain is owned by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and his brother, Jimmy, who owns the Cleveland Browns football team. Lawyers for the company say upper management didn't know about a scheme to cheat customers and that any wrongdoing was confined to a limited number of people. Seven have pleaded guilty to criminal charges and two others are cooperating with investigators.
Pilot Flying J has annual revenues of about $30 billion.
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