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Whistleblower in Pilot Flying J case alleges scheme defrauded U.S. Postal Service

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CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 27: Owner of the Cleveland Browns Jimmy Haslam looks on prior to the game against the Oakland Raiders at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 27, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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A whistleblower in the Pilot Flying J case alleges that the U.S. Government was among the entities defrauded in the rebate fraud scheme that led to eight current and former employees to be indicted last year.

According to Matt Lakin of the Knoxville News Sentinel, John Verble, a former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney broker that was an informant for the FBI, claims that the same scheme defrauded the U.S. Postal Service in the same way it defrauded private businesses.

“This (rebate fraud) scheme was revealed to the public in April 2013,” Verble’s lawyer Richard Neely wrote in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, “but what was not revealed is that one of Pilot Flying J’s largest customers is the U.S. government, which buys hundreds of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel periodically for use by the Postal Service, and that the U.S. government was defrauded of its rebates in the same fashion as private trucking companies.”

The attorney for Pilot Flying J, Aubrey Harwell, dismissed the accusations and said that restitution has been paid to everyone who was owed money due to the scheme.

Cleveland Browns owner and Pilot Flying J owner Jimmy Haslam was scheduled to give a deposition in the case in December. So far Haslam has avoided being indicted himself in the case.