Three of four former employees of truck stop chain Pilot Flying J who have been on trial since November were convicted Thursday in connection with a rebate scam.
Former company President Mark Hazelwood and former account representative Heather Jones were found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authentic-adidas-elias-lindholm-jersey... Lindholm Jersey[/url] , news outlets reported.
Former company Vice President Scott ”Scooter” Wombold was convicted of one count of wire fraud. But he and former account representative Karen Mann were found not guilty of conspiracy.
Article continues below ...
Pilot Flying J is controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The Haslams haven’t been charged with any wrongdoing. The governor has not been involved in the company in recent years.
The verdict followed about four days of deliberations in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga, where the trial has been going on since November.
Hazelwood was also convicted of wire fraud and witness tampering and found not guilty of one count of wire fraud. Wombold was also found not guilty of two counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements to federal agents. Jones was found not guilty of four counts of wire fraud.
Wombold’s lawyer, John Kelly, said his defense team would explore options for appeal on the one count on which Wombold was found guilty.
”All along, Mr. Wombold desired only to be judged by a jury of his peers at trial,” Kelly said in a statement. ”Today, having done exactly that, he stands vindicated on six of seven counts.”
Pilot Flying J issued a statement after the verdicts were announced saying it has focused on its customers.
”Nearly five years ago upon learning of the improper transactions, we made whole every customer negatively affected [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authentic-adidas-jaccob-slavin-jersey]... Jaccob Slavin Jersey[/url] , entered into a Criminal Enforcement Agreement with the government, cooperated fully with the government’s investigation, and made policy, procedure and staff changes to make certain nothing like this ever happens again,” the statement said.
Sentencing was set for June 27 in Chattanooga.
Fourteen former Pilot Flying J employees pleaded guilty earlier, and some testified during the trial. They are awaiting sentencing by U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier.
The jurors said in a note Wednesday they had reached a unanimous verdict on all but one charge involving one defendant. On Thursday morning, the jurors said in a note they remained deadlocked on that charge.
Collier then gave them an instruction designed to prompt jurors to re-examine their individual votes and try one more time for a unanimous decision.
Another day, another Cincinnati grand slam.
Jose Peraza kept up the parade of slams, sending Matt Harvey and the Reds over the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers 8-2 Sunday.
Peraza connected in the sixth inning for the Reds’ major league-leading ninth slam this year [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authentic-adidas-jeff-skinner-jersey]Jeff Skinner Jersey[/url] , tying the single-season franchise record set in 2002. It was Cincinnati’s second in two games and third in the last eight – pitcher Mike Lorenzen had a pinch-hit slam Saturday, and pitcher Anthony DeSclafani went deep with the bases loaded on June 24 against the Cubs.
”I just tried to hit the ball,” the shortstop said. ”When I hit the ball in the sky, I say, `Wow, it’s a home run.’ Everybody is happy.”
Peraza hit his first career slam, tagging reliever Aaron Wilkerson.
Eight different Reds have hit grand slams. Adam Duvall is the only player with two.
The last-place Reds have won 11 of 14, and the last eight of 11 against teams that were in first place when their series started.
”We know we can play with these guys (division leaders),” manager Jim Riggleman said. ”We’ve got to go through those guys and win our share.”
Harvey (4-5) allowed two hits in 5 2/3 innings and won his third straight start as the Reds salvaged a split of the four-game series. Ryan Braun’s two-run homer in the ninth allowed the Brewers to avoid their 11th shutout loss of the season.
Joey Votto [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authentic-adidas-jordan-staal-jersey]J... Staal Jersey[/url] , National League RBI leader Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler had consecutive run-scoring singles in the first inning against previously unbeaten rookie Freddy Peralta (3-1).
Harvey, acquired in May from the Mets, struck out six and walked none. The right-hander didn’t return after a 54-minute rain delay.
”It was one of those when you come in and try to do as much as you can,” Harvey said. ”You come in and put a heat pack on, but once it creeps up to an hour … That’s the best I’ve felt in a long time. I could smell the CG (complete game) coming or at least getting deep in the game. I was pretty much in control the whole time, but I’m happy about the outing and another Reds win.”
Pitching in a gametime temperature of 93 humid degrees, Harvey retired the first 12 batters before Travis Shaw outflanked a defensive shift with an opposite-field single to left leading off the fifth.
Cincinnati’s first six batters reached base against Peralta, who’d allowed just a .093 opponents’ batting average (7 for 75) in his first four starts, all Milwaukee wins. He recovered from throwing 43 pitches in the first inning to retire the last 10 and 15 of the last 16 batters he faced.
”It started out rough [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authentic-adidas-justin-faulk-jersey]J... Faulk Jersey[/url] ,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. ”He righted it. It was cool to see him right it. That’s a lesson that you’ve got to get it going right away or a big league team will take advantage of it. I thought he handled it very well.”
CHANGE OF SCENERY
The Brewers optioned .197-hitting SS Orlando Arcia to Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game. ”He’s been a good major league hitter,” Counsell said. ”He’s been a dominant minor league hitter. We’re confident he will get things going again.”
Votto’s two hits pushed him past Hall of Famer Frank Robinson into ninth place on the Reds’ career hits list with 1,674. Brandon Phillips is eighth with 1,774 hits.
Braun’s ninth-inning homer gave the Brewers at least one in each of their last 19 games at Great American Ball Park, the longest streak by any team, including the Reds.
Brewers: OF Christian Yelich took some swings before Sunday’s game, the third he’d missed since leaving Thursday’s game with a tight lower back.
Brewers: LHP Brent Suter (8-5) is 6-2 with a 3.50 ERA over his last eight starts.
Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (5-8) didn’t allow a home run in his last start, but he still leads NL pitchers in homers allowed with 18.