FBI/IRS Raid Business Connected to Gov. Haslam - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

FBI/IRS Raid Business Connected to Gov. Haslam

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The FBI and IRS raided a business connected to Governor Bill Haslam Monday.

Earlier this afternoon, agents searched Pilot Flying J headquarters in Knoxville.

It's a truck stop business owned by the family of Governor Haslam and his brother, Cleveland Browns owner, Jimmy Haslam.

The governor has no position within the company but still has an unspecified holding in it.

Knoxville-based pilot is the operator of the largest travel center network in North America.

"Oh yea, it's huge, it's really big here a lot because our Governor is also connected to Pilot (Flying J)," said Chad Simmons, FOX Knoxville Sales Account Executive.

Governor Bill Haslam's office would not comment on his family owned business raided by the FBI and IRS.  But Simmons says Pilot Flying J's employees were caught off guard.

"They were in a meeting and someone from IRS came in, told them the meeting was over and they needed to leave because they had a search warrant for the building," said Simmons.

According to Simmons, two sources who work at the site say the FBI requested their information.

"They actually had no idea what was going on, didn't really know even what they were being questioned about, absolutely no idea," said Simmons.

Simmons says several people connected to fuel and fuel pricing were also questioned.  Reports say FBI agents blocked the building's entrance, told reporters to leave and escorted employees off the facility.

Pilot Flying J released a statement which says, in part, "we do not know the nature of the situation.... Pilot Food Marts, Pilot Travel Centers and Flying J Travel Plazas remain open and continue to serve the public."

According to Simmons, employees were instructed to return to work Tuesday.   Pilot Flying J says they're confident the matter will be resolved fully.

Jimmy Haslam stepped down as CEO last year after buying a majority ownership of the Cleveland Browns.  But he returned as CEO in February.

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