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Cleveland Browns owner Haslam: No plans to sell team despite legal trouble

Cleveland Browns: In a story published Sunday on the ESPN Cleveland website, Haslam said he intends to own the Browns 'for a long time.'

By Associated Press / July 9, 2013

This April photo shows Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J, speaking during a press conference at the company headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has struggled almost from the start of his administration to fulfill a campaign pledge to avoid handling matters relating to Pilot Flying J, the truck stop chain his family owns. Now, an FBI investigation of alleged fraud by the sales staff at the nation's largest diesel retailer has brought increased scrutiny and raised more questions about links between the governor and Pilot.

Wade Payne/AP/File

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.

A spokesman for Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says Haslam has no plans to sell the franchise despite legal troubles with the company he runs.

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FBI agents say transcripts of secretly recorded calls among Pilot Flying J employees reveal a scheme to defraud trucking companies of fuel rebates, and five members of the sales staff at the nation's largest diesel retailer have pleaded guilty to fraud.

Haslam has said he was unaware of the scheme.

In a story published Sunday on the ESPN Cleveland website, Haslam said he intends to own the Browns "for a long time."

And in a statement issued Monday, Pilot Flying J spokesman Tom Ingram said, "We expect no change in Mr. Haslam's relationship with the NFL and/or his ownership of the Browns."

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