Former Pilot Regional Account Specialist Says Former President Mark Hazelwood Approved Of Fraud

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

When well-known attorney Rusty Hardin on Tuesday asked a former Pilot regional account specialist if she believed that former president Mark Hazelwood knew of a plan to cheat trucking firms he didn't get the answer he expected.

Holly Radford told a jury in Chattanooga, "I know he had knowledge of the rebate schemes that were going on.

"I had conversations with him about it on his boat, at his house and when I was doing personal photography for his family."

Attorney Hardin, who is traveling back and forth from Houston to try the case, noted that there was no record that Ms. Radford had ever told the government of allegations against Hazelwood, who is one of four people on trial. Also facing mail and wire fraud charges are former Pilot national sales director Scott Wombold and regional account specialists Karen Mann and Heather Jones.

Attorney Hardin later pressed Ms. Radford on specifics of what Hazelwood told her. She said once as they passed in the hallway at company headquarters in Knoxville he "expressed his appreciation for how much Jay had reduced his rebates."

She said that referred to regional sales director Jay Stinnett giving trucking firms rebates that were well below what had been promised to them.

One document introduced in the case had a line showing the amount of "savings" to Pilot through the fraudulent practice.

Ms. Radford could not remember any other specific statements by Hazelwood about the fraud.

Attorney Hardin said, "In all the reports they've disclosed there's nothing in them about what you've said today."

Ms. Radford, who pleaded guilty not long after an FBI raid on the Pilot headquarters on April 15, 2013, said cheating trucking owners "was kind of our culture. Everybody knew about it - inside and outside sales, upper management."

She was asked if "upper management' meant that CEO Jimmy Haslam knew. She said, "I do not have direct knowledge that he knew." The Cleveland Browns owner has not been charged.

An email was discussed with Ms. Radford in which former Pilot vice president of sales John "Stick" Freeman wrote that he had not yet informed a new salesman of the rebate racket "because he hasn't drank the Kool Aid yet."

Freeman, discussing the chart that showed Pilot "savings," said he was "hesitant to ask the girls to do this. You never know what might come of these." The incriminating 2008 record was still on hand when the FBI came calling five years later.

Ms. Radford said her commission was capped at $7,000 so she may have made just around $20 to $25 per month on the rebate scheme.

She said of the fraud, "I always knew it was wrong. But it was something you became used to and something your superiors praised you for. So I just did it."

Tim Wroblewski, who heads Pilot training and development, said during the years of the fraud from 2008-2013 that all employees were required each year to sign the code of ethics and business conduct.

Signatures were shown for each of the defendants.

The code at the time encouraged employees with concerns to step forward and said they would not be penalized.

Mr. Wroblewski said of the issues of ethics and good business conduct at Pilot "in the current day, we talk about it all the time."

 

 

 

 



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALFARO, GUILLERMO ANTONIO  714 ELY RD HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 44 years old Arresting Agency: Tenn Highway Patrol DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE --- APPLEBETJR, PERCY  1706 BRADT ST CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 62 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CRIMINAL TRESPASSING ... (click for more)

Copies Of Remaining Chattanooga Photo Books Available At Zarzour's Restaurant; By Mail

Remaining copies of the Chattanooga Photo books are available at Zarzours Restaurant on Rossville Avenue off Main Street. It is near Fire Hall #1. They include the Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga, and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga.  All were published by Chattanoogan.com.  and printed by College Press at Collegedale. The ... (click for more)

The Growing Monopoly

Over the last decade, five tech giants have risen to the top, and created, discovered and invented services and products that have made these companies worth billions today. Those five, of course, are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each of these companies are responsible for several products and services that we use in our everyday lives. They have devoured the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Those We All Ignore

I was in the midst of my “morning readings” the other day when a number leapt off my computer screen. Hark, heralded angels, did you know in the state of Iowa there are two (2) inpatient psychiatry beds for every 100,000 people? I’m not the best with percentages but there are some people in Iowa who aren’t getting the help they need. There are roughly 3.2 million people living in ... (click for more)

Stoker Beats Ensign At End To Win Wauhatchie

Rodney Stoker is hard to beat and it doesn’t matter if it’s on a road or a slick trail on the side of Lookout Mountain. The 41-year-old Stoker won the Sports Barn Turkey Trot 8K on Thanksgiving and he made his return to the 33 rd annual Wauhatchie Trail Run on Saturday a successful one as he caught 10-time winner Tim Ensign in the final quarter mile to win the challenging and ... (click for more)

Commerce Wins Bradley Invitational With Four Champs

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – The host Bradley Bears were the two-time defending champs in their own Bradley Invitational this weekend at Jim Smiddy Arena, but they weren’t able to make it a three-peat. The Commerce Tigers, a powerhouse Class A team from Georgia, had a slim three-point lead going into Saturday afternoon’s medal rounds, but after winning all four of their championship matches ... (click for more)