Former Pilot President Hazelwood Was Making Almost $27 Million By End Of Fraud

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Former Pilot Travel Centers President Mark Hazelwood was making almost $27 million by the end of the fraud period, it was testified Thursday at Federal Court in Chattanooga.  

Claudine Whaley, Pilot senior payroll manager, said Hazelwood had a contract paying him three and one half percent of Pilot's after-tax net earnings. 

Hazelwood is on trial, along with Scott Wombold, Heather Jones and Karen Mann, on fraud charges. 

Ms. Whaley said Hazelwood elected each year to receive all of the money he was due.  

He was paid almost $14 million in 2008, and it was above $15 million in 2009.  

The Hazelwood pay was $12.2 million in 2010 and $11.2 million in 2011 before jumping to $26,938,529 in 2012.  That was the year before federal agents raided the Pilot headquarters in Knoxville. 

A large part of his pay was a "growth partner bonus." 

Defense Attorney Rusty Hardin said Hazelwood started with Pilot in 1985 and had his first pay agreement in 1988.  He said Hazelwood would "sit down with Jimmy Haslam every 10 years and work out a new agreement." Attorney Hardin said a factor in the "extraordinary jump" in Hazelwood's pay in 2012 was Haslam's purchase of the Cleveland Browns.  He said there was a large distribution to certain Pilot employees in connection with that deal. 

Ms. Whaley said Wombold was paid $522,887 in 2008.  His pay went to $722,468 in 2009.  After a drop in 2010, it was $720,744 in 2011.  

Wombold in 2012 was paid $1,156,344.  

Wombold's pay included regular commissions, including $357,130 in 2012.  

Ms. Whaley said Ms. Jones and Ms. Mann also got commissions based on sales.  

Ms. Jones was paid $68,325 in 2008 and rose to $115,348 by 2012.  Her commission in 2012 was $61,283.

Ms. Mann made $92,076 in 2008.  

She rose to $117,373 in 2012, including a commission of almost $68,000. 

Ms. Jones and Ms. Mann were "inside girls" who worked via phone with the salesmen out in the field. 


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