COLUMBUS, Ohio--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--FST Express has filed a lawsuit against Pilot Flying J arising out of the FBI's investigation into a fraudulent rebate scheme. FST is one of several trucking companies that has chosen to "opt out" of a class action settlement that has received preliminary approval by a federal judge in Arkansas. Pilot Flying J customers have until October 15, 2013 to "opt out" of the proposed settlement. If they do not opt out by that date, they will automatically be included in the class action settlement.
“Many trucking companies that have serious doubts about the settlement have contacted us to help them opt out of the settlement and pursue their individual claims against Pilot. We plan to vigorously pursue their claims.”
"FST Express has opted out of the proposed settlement because there are serious questions about whether the settlement provides a sufficient benefit to Pilot Flying J's customers who have been harmed by the rebate scheme," said Shawn J. Organ, FST's attorney. "Unfortunately, under the settlement agreement trucking companies will not learn whether they have received a fair settlement until after the opt-out deadline. But by then it will be too late for those companies to get out of the settlement and pursue their own lawsuits."
According to Organ, Pilot Flying J pushed for a settlement before all the facts are known. "The FBI investigation is still ongoing," Organ notes. "Federal investigators are still uncovering details about how widespread the fraud was. Although Pilot certainly benefits from a quick settlement, we have serious concerns whether such a hasty deal is good for the victims of Pilot’s fraud."
The FBI and the IRS raided Pilot's headquarters on April 15, 2013, after receiving a tip that Pilot was engaging in massive fraud against its customers. All indications are that the investigation will continue for some time. Several Pilot employees have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing in federal court. Eventually, evidence from the seized documents and hard-drives will be revealed.
According to Organ, FST's lawsuit is just the first of many he will be filing over the next several weeks. "Many trucking companies that have serious doubts about the settlement have contacted us to help them opt out of the settlement and pursue their individual claims against Pilot. We plan to vigorously pursue their claims."
Any reporter or trucking company that would like to learn more may contact Shawn J. Organ at 614-481-0900.