Government Will Retry Former Pilot Flying J President, 2 Co-Defendants In Fraud Case Next February

Friday, April 30, 2021

The government says it will retry former Pilot Flying J president Mark Hazelwood and two co-defendants next February after an appeals court threw out their convictions in a fraud case in Chattanooga that lasted for months.

A three-judge panel of the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to void the convictions based on an inflammatory tape that the jury was allowed to hear. It involved a Pilot sales meeting at a Hazelwood lake house, where a racist country song was played and racist remarks were made.

Judge Curtis Collier said the jury will be picked starting at 9 a.m. next Feb. 1. It will again be held at the Federal Courthouse on Georgia Avenue.

Hazelwood, Scott Wombold and Heather Jones were convicted on some of the charges they faced in connection with cheating trucking companies out of promised rebates.

Hazelwood was in home confinement at his Knoxville mansion until restrictions were lifted after the Sixth Circuit ruling.

Judge Collier said it is anticipated that the trial will take about 30 court days to complete, which would be considerably shorter than the initial trial.

A guilty plea deadline is Nov. 5.

Pilot is based in Knoxville. 


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