Berkshire Hathaway claims Jimmy Haslam tried to bribe Pilot executives to inflate company profits

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has a Warren Buffet problem.

Via the Associated Press, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway accused Hassan of Attempted to bribe several Pilot executives, a chain of truck stops founded by Hassan’s father. Berkshire Hathaway asserts that Hassan wanted executives to inflate the company’s profits.

The fight goes back to the Haslam family’s sale of Pilot to Berkshire Hathaway. The specific allegation is that the Haslam family wanted to boost the value of the company, in order to increase the price paid for the final 20 per cent of the company which was sold to Berkshire Hathaway earlier this year.

The allegation appears in a countersuit filed by Berkshire Hathaway in response to a lawsuit alleging that the company changed Pilot’s accounting practices to reduce the value of the remaining 20 percent.

Berkshire Hathaway claims it became aware of alleged efforts to bribe executives earlier this month. Berkshire Hathaway specifically asserts that Jimmy Haslam (via AP story) “offered to personally pay bonuses to executives that far exceeded their annual salaries based on the price the family received for their remaining stake.”

Hassan allegedly made the offer to about 15 employees at a dinner party in March, and allegedly repeated the offer to at least four other high-level executives.

This is not the first time allegations of financial impropriety have been made in relation to Pilot. The surprise raid on April 15, 2013 led to years of litigation and prosecution over a scam in which the company undercut rebates and rebates to the customer. The pilot eventually paid a $92 million fine. Hassan did not face any criminal charges.

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Hassan also did not face any scrutiny from the league under the personal conduct policy.

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