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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Source:  AP

Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:31 PM

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Closing Arguments In Pilot Flying J Fraud Trial In Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A prosecutor has reviewed emails, recordings and testimony with jurors in an attempt to connect four former Pilot Flying J employees to a scheme to defraud trucking customers on fuel rebates.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Hamilton simplified the scheme in his closing argument Monday. Hamilton says the conspirators identified potential targets, cheated them out of money and lulled them into a false sense of security by sending false pricing information or blaming any discrepancies on simple mistakes.

Defendants in this federal trial are former Pilot president Mark Hazelwood, former vice president Scott "Scooter" Wombold and former sales staffers Heather Jones and Karen Mann.

Jones' lawyer, Benjamin Vernia, said the government had "'fallen far short" of proving its case against his client.