Source: Mark Hazelwood no longer President at Pilot

A source confirmed to WKYC on Monday afternoon, that Mark Hazelwood is no longer the President at Pilot Flying J.

Pilot Flying J: Full Coverage

Hazelwood's exit comes 13 months after the FBI and IRS raided the Pilot Flying J Headquarters in Knoxville on April 15, 2013, over a rebate scheme.

They went public with an investigation into the fraud that federal prosecutors say had gone on since 2005. The FBI affidavit -- unsealed three days later -- is still the only information the U.S. Attorney has ever released.

After the raid, affidavits with transcripts of conversations secretly recorded by the FBI indicated that top executives, including Hazelwood, were aware of the scheme.

So far, 10 former Pilot employees have pleaded guilty in connection with the rebate scheme.

Throughout the investigation, CEO Jimmy Haslam has denied any knowledge of the scheme which cheated companies out of millions of dollars.

Haslam is the newest member of the most powerful fraternity in sports -- the NFL. The league unanimously approved his ownership in October 2013. Haslam went to the NFL meetings in late February 2014 with the sticky predicament of a federal investigation hanging over his family-owned business.

The April 15, 2013 raid and alllegations of fraud, conspiracy and other misdeeds hit the image-conscious NFL like a ton of bricks. So, with league owners gathered at an airport hotel, the CEO of Pilot Flying J felt obliged to offer some explanation to his new business partners.

And as he stood before them, he apologized, too, for any damage done to the NFL brand.

Haslam's attorney, Aubrey Harwell, refused to elaborate on the reasons behind Hazelwood's departure.

"A number of journalists have speculated that it's related to the federal investigation," said Harwell. "It's not related to the federal investigation. Some have speculated that it's his health, or whatever issue, but the truth is -- it's against company policy to talk about what the basis of this is," he said.

Sources also confirm that Scott Wombold, Vice-President of sales for national accounts is also out, as of today.

Despite losing 2 of Pilot's top lieutenants, a company spokesperson says the departures will not divert Haslam's attention away from the Browns.

"It will not have an impact," the spokesperson said. "He will continue to be involved with the Browns as before."


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