Berkshire Hathaway claims Jimmy Haslam tried to bribe Pilot executives to boost company profits – NBC Sports

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has a Warren Buffet problem.

Via the Associated Press, Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has accused Haslam of trying to bribe several executives at Pilot, the truck stop chain founded by Haslam’s father. Berkshire Hathaway claims Haslam wanted executives to drive up the company’s profits.

The dispute stems from a sale of Pilot by the Haslam family to Berkshire Hathaway. The specific allegation is that the Haslams wanted to increase the value of the company in order to increase the price of the final 20 percent of the company, which was sold to Berkshire Hathaway earlier this year.

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

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

Haslam allegedly made the offer to about 15 employees at a dinner in March and allegedly repeated the offer to at least four other senior executives.

This is not the first time that allegations of financial irregularities have been made in connection with Pilot. A surprise raid on April 15, 2013 led to years of litigation and a criminal prosecution over a scam in which the company deprived its customers of discounts and discounts. Pilot ultimately paid a $92 million fine. Haslam was never prosecuted.

Haslam also was not subject to review by the league as part of the league’s personal conduct policy.