(Nashville) - A 120-page affidavit to a search warrant was filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, TN, today.  It says, in effect, that Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam knew about the rebate fraud committed by top sales officials at his family business, Pilot Flying J.

The federal documents that were unsealed, today, indentify a Pilot Flying J employee as a confidential source for the investigation.

They allege that Haslam knew about the fraud scheme that targeted unsophisticated trucking companies through a rebate program and was present for discussions about the rebate fraud activities.

Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam released this statement, Thursday:

"I've read the affidavits.  I now understand more clearly the questions the federal investigators are exploring.  I maintain that the foundation of this company is built on its integrity and that any willful wrongdoing by any employee of this company at any time is intolerable.

We will continue to cooperate with the federal investigation and continue our own investigation in these allegations.

I value the relationships we have with our customers, our vendors and our team members across this country and regret that they have to go through this with us, but I trust and believe their faith in this company and its principles has never been misplaced."

The company headquarters was raided Monday by FBI and IRS agents.  

Pilot Flying J is a private company, mostly owned by Haslam, his brother, Bill Haslam, who is the Governor of Tennessee, and other family members.

Pilot Flying J is the nation's No. 1 retailer of diesel fuel, and its customer rebate program with trucking firms is at the center of the ingestivation.

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(Copyright 2013 Clear Channel and The Associated Press, all rights reserved.) 

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