NFL notes: FBI raids business of Cleveland Browns owner

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said Tuesday the federal government has launched a criminal investigation into rebates offered by the truck stop chain owned by his family, including his brother, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

Agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service raided the Pilot Flying J headquarters in Knoxville on Monday.

Jimmy Haslam, who is the CEO of Pilot Flying J, held a news conference in Knoxville to confirm the investigation is criminal, rather than civil, in nature.

“We don’t know a lot. It appears to be centered on a very insignificant number of customers and the application of rebates, that rebates that were owed to the customers were not paid. We, of course, disagree with that,” the CEO said.

Haslam said subpoenas had been issued to several members of his 23-person sales force, though he said he was unable to identify any specifically. Haslam said he had not been subpoenaed and no one has been arrested.

Bill Killian, the U.S. attorney in Knoxville, told The Associated Press that four search warrants have been served on Pilot, but the reasons have been sealed by a federal court.

FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents locked down the Pilot Flying J headquarters Monday afternoon and ordered most employees out of the building as they conducted their search well past midnight.

Haslam said essential personnel were allowed to remain in the building to ensure the company’s nearly 500 truck stops had sufficient fuel supplies. It was unclear why the IRS was involved in the raid, he said.

Upgrades on track

Installation of new, high-definition video boards at Houston’s Reliant Stadium are on track to be operational by the time the Texans play their first preseason game in August, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The video boards, described as the largest in the world, will dwarf those in place at the stadium since its opening in 2002.

“It’s a programming component that’ll allow fans who come to the stadium to get what they can get [on television] at home,” Texans president Jamey Rootes said.

Schedule release

The NFL will release its 2013 schedule Thursday night with a prime-time TV show. Completion of the schedule was delayed because of a conflict in Baltimore, where the Orioles are playing on Sept. 5, the night of the now-traditional Thursday season kickoff. So the Super Bowl champion Ravens will open on the road.

The first full weekend of games will be Sept. 8-9. For the second straight year, the NFL will have a full slate of Thursday night games. The season ends Dec. 29.

Briefly

• Ravens: Quarterback Caleb Hanie, a graduate of Forney High School, signed a 1-year contract. Hanie, 27, has not thrown a pass since 2011 when he played 10 games for the Bears.

• Bengals: Tight end Alex Smith signed as an unrestricted free agent from Cleveland, where he spent the last three years.

• Bears: Guard Eben Britton, a former second-round pick by the Jaguars, signed a one-year deal.

• Jets: Linebacker Calvin Pace, released in February, was re-signed to a one-year deal. He has played five seasons with the Jets after starting his career in Arizona.

• Patriots: Owner Robert Kraft said his family will match up to $100,000 of donations made to the team’s website to help victims of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing.

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Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Toronto «5Final | Box
Cleveland0
St. Louis «4Final | Box
Washington3
LA Angels2Final | Box
Detroit «5
Baltimore2Final | Box
Boston «4
Minnesota4Final | Box
Kansas City «5
Cincinnati4Final | Box
Chicago Cubs «8
Houston3Top 7th | Box
Oakland1@theBallpark | TV: MLB N, CSN-HOU, CSN-CA
Milwaukee 4/19 7:05 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FSN-WI, ROOT-PIT
Seattle 4/19 7:10 PM ET
Miami TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-FL
Atlanta 4/19 7:10 PM ET
NY Mets TV: FSN-S, WPIX
NY Yankees 4/19 7:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: YES, Sun Sports
Chicago WSox 4/19 8:05 PM ET
Texas TV: WGN, FSN-SW
Philadelphia 4/19 8:10 PM ET
Colorado TV: CSN-PHI, ROOT-RM
Arizona 4/19 8:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: FS1, SportsNet LA
San Francisco 4/19 8:40 PM ET
San Diego TV: CSN-BA, FSN-SD
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Brooklyn «94Final | Box
Toronto87
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Golden State1074th Qtr 0:24 | Box
LA Clippers105TV: ABC
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Atlanta 4/19 7:00 PM ET
Indiana TV: ESPN, SportSouth
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Memphis 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: ESPN, FSN-OK
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
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Chicago3OT 16:04 | Box
St. Louis3TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Columbus 4/19 7:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Colorado TV: NBCSN, TSN, Altitude
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