Before Jimmy Haslam became the Browns owner last summer he was the CEO of Pilot Flying J, a truck stop business with headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. He resumed that role this February, and on Monday the FBI locked down headquarters for reasons that remain a mystery.
Marshall Stone of the FBI's Knoxville office told WBIR that this is an ongoing investigation involving both the FBI and the IRS, although Stone offered no details on the nature of the investigation.
Hours after the news broke, Haslam released a statement to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
"The FBI secured our headquarters today and informed us they are investigating Pilot Flying J," Haslam said in an email. "We will cooperate appropriately with any and all external investigations and conduct our own. I believe and trust there has been no wrongdoing. The integrity of our company always has been job No. 1."
More details via the News Sentinel:
An employee who was present during the raid described an orderly, but thorough effort by dozens of federal agents wearing bulletproof vests to verify staffers' identities and job titles, and separate those who are necessary to the day-to-day business operations.
“They came in pretty quick -- it wasn't a calm event,” said the employee, who asked not to be identified.
Employees were ordered to turn off computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.
“They didn't want us to have any access to company information,” the staffer said.
Pilot Flying J was founded more than 50 years ago by Jim Haslam, the father of Jimmy and Bill Haslam, the current Tennessee governor and one-time president of Pilot Flying J.