Final Arguments Underway In Pilot Trial At Federal Court In Chattanooga

Monday, February 5, 2018

Prosecutor Trey Hamilton on Monday afternoon asked a Federal Court jury in Chattanooga to find four former Pilot Travel Center employees guilty of wire and mail fraud charges.

They include former Pilot president Mark Hazelwood, who is also charged with coercion of a witness.

His attorney, Rusty Hardin of Houston, earlier said Hazelwood, if convicted, could face spending the rest of his life in prison. Before he was terminated by Pilot, he made over $27 million in his last year with the Knoxville-based company. It was testified he owned four homes and was spending between $60,000 and $70,000 a month.

Also charged is Scott Wombold, the former national sales director, along with account representatives Heather Jones and Karen Mann.

A host of other Pilot employees, charged in the wake of an April 15, 2013, raid at corporate headquarters, have pleaded guilty. Many took the witness stand against their former fellow employees during the 19 days of testimony that began in early November.

The jury in the packed courtroom also heard Monday from an attorney for Ms. Jones.

Still to come will be final arguments for Ms. Mann, Wombold and Hazelwood, then the final statement from the government.

The case is expected to go to the jury on Wednesday after Judge Curtis Collier delivers the charge.

Judge Collier will be sentencing all defendants in the case.


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