Goodell met with Browns owner to discuss FBI investigation

The SportsXchange

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's company, Pilot Flying J, is under federal investigation following a raid of the company's headquarters last week, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is paying close attention to the matter.

Goodell spoke to reporters Wednesday in New York and said he met with Haslam on Tuesday to discuss the FBI and IRS probe into the Haslam family business. The FBI, citing current and former employees, claimed Haslam was aware of fraudulent activity by the gas station and convenience store chain failing to process customer rebates.

Goodell said Wednesday he was "of course" concerned about the investigation.

"Jimmy is doing everything he's asked. He's cooperating," Goodell said. "He wants to make sure that he is doing all of the right things in that regard and he has assured us that he is going to."

Haslam said this week that he placed several members of the Pilot administrative staff on leave while the legal matter is rectified. Haslam said an independent investigation of "what did or did not happen" is underway and could be completed by July.

Goodell told reporters that the investigation came as a huge surprise to the NFL. He said the league was unaware of the FBI and IRS investigations of Pilot Flying J last year before Haslam purchased the Browns from Randy Lerner for more than $1 billion.

"It's an investigation, and it was held very tightly by the FBI and the authorities," Goodell said Wednesday. "They didn't share this information with us and they shouldn't. That's something that is their prerogative."
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