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 Mitch Unrein Jersey , 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.
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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, entered into a Criminal Enforcement Agreement with the government, cooperated fully with the government’s investigation http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/demarcus-ware-jersey , 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.
The impact to his head was so violent that Noureddine Amrabat can't remember the World Cup match at all, even though he was playing in it.
"Five, six hours, gone. Totally gone," the Morocco midfielder said of the concussion sustained in his team's opening match against Iran.
"When you think about it, it is a little bit scary."
Five days after a clash of heads sent him to hospital for a brain scan and 24 hours of medical supervision, the 31-year-old was back in the Moroccan lineup Wednesday and played the entire match in a 1-0 loss to Portugal JK Scott Jersey , in defiance of FIFA guidelines and his team doctor.
The players' union, FIFPro, was highly critical of what it called "yet another alarming example of a player being put in harm's way."
Despite having expressed shock about Morocco's initial pitch-side treatment of Amrabat's concussion last Friday, tournament organizer FIFA absolved itself of any responsibility in the team decision to field him again so quickly. Amrabat wore a padded skull cap for a quarter-hour but took it off because he was too hot.
After the initial concussion diagnosis, Morocco team doctor Abderrazak Hefti had said Amrabat wouldn't even train for a week.
But the player said that he overruled the physician.
A week without playing "is the official time to recover, official time for your safety. I decided to make it shorter," Amrabat said after the loss, which eliminated Morocco from contention. "I felt good. It's the most important. I am my own doctor. And hopefully nothing bad for the long term."
This wasn't the first time that concussion management in football has come under the spotlight at the World Cup. Jolted by criticism of concussion cases at the 2014 tournament , FIFA introduced guidelines intended to provide players with better protection and give team doctors more authority.
Moroccan team officials appeared to ignore the guidelines after Amrabat collided with Iran midfielder Vahid Amiri on Friday. Television images showed the apparently dazed Amrabat being sprayed with water and slapped on the face, seemingly to wake him from his stupor.
"There was a very clear concussion and we have instructed them very clearly and we spoke about the importance of proper treatment, which is why I was surprised at seeing the behavior on the touchline Dave Robinson Jersey ," FIFA medical chief Michel D'Hooghe said Wednesday.
"We wrote to them after that to say it appeared the guidelines were not correctly followed," he said. "I will now ask for an explanation from the Moroccan team doctor about what has happened so that he played again."
He added: "FIFA has no authority over this. We produce the guidelines but it is the team doctors who make the decision."
FIFPro said Amrabat shouldn't have played again so soon.
"Four years on from the debacle of the last World Cup, where several players did not receive adequate care, football has not made sufficient progress in concussion management," FIFPro said. "Repeated calls to implement world-class standards have been overlooked."
The new case comes amid rising concern in soccer about the risks of concussion and the potential degenerative damage to players' brains from repeatedly heading balls. Britain's associations are funding a study to try to determine whether players are more prone to developing dementia.
Other sports have more rigorous concussion protocols.
NFL players with concussion symptoms during a game are examined both by the team doctor and an independent neuro-trauma expert approved by the league. The team doctor decides whether a player suffered a concussion, with consultation from the independent expert. Players diagnosed with concussions start a five-step protocol that includes additional testing as the player progresses from light exercise to football contact. There is no time limit, but it generally takes five days or more. The NFL diagnosed 281 concussions during the 2017 season.
Amrabat said his brain scan showed no damage. But he said he cannot remember anything from the Iran game, "from the first minute 'til I wake up in the hospital."
To broadcaster NOS, he added: "On the bench I asked the same thing 10 times. After the match in the changing room I asked where I sat and I asked my brother six times if he'd gone on as a substitute."
"I have a bit of pain here if I press it," he said running his finger along the area just left of his left eye, "but in the end you want to play in a match like this. I had a helmet sent over from the Netherlands. But in the end . I felt more tired than normal Chase Roullier Jersey , quite quickly, heavy legs. But generally it went reasonably well."
Herve Renard, the team's French coach, praised Amrabat as "a warrior."
"It's because his spirit is amazing and I was lucky to have a player like this."
Associated Press writers Mike Corder in Kaliningrad and Amira El Masaiti in Rabat, Morocco, contributed to this report.
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