KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Pilot Flying J diesel rebate fraud scheme cheated not just trucking companies across the U.S. but the federal government, according to the man who says he helped crack the case.
John Verble, a former broker at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Knoxville branch office, says he was fired in 2013 for working with the FBI as an informant in the Pilot case and for alerting authorities to other questionable dealings he says he stumbled upon during his work there. The brokerage denies any wrongdoing.
Courts so far have shot down Verble’s quest for federal whistleblower protection. He’s now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case.
Verble’s petition to the Supreme Court, filed last month by his attorney Richard Neely, includes the accusation that Pilot Flying J swindled the U.S. Postal Service out of untold sums in promised fuel rebates.
“This (rebate fraud) scheme was revealed to the public in April 2013,” Neely wrote, “but what was not revealed is that one of Pilot Flying J’s largest customers is the U.S. government, which buys hundreds of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel periodically for use by the Postal Service, and that the U.S. government was defrauded of its rebates in the same fashion as private trucking companies.”