CLEVELAND -- A Georgia attorney who is representing several trucking companies in a suit that is seeking class action status against Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J said the case is getting some high-profile help.

Mark Tate told Channel 3's Sara Shookman that the Louis Freeh Group's forensic investigators and accountants have signed on to analyze potential fraud.

The trucking companies who believe they were cheated, or potential class members, have hired the Freeh Group, said Tate.

A spokesperson for the Freeh Group would not confirm its involvement, offering no comment when reached.

Cleveland Browns owner and Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam is expected to speak to some of the nation's top trucking companies Thursday morning at a transportation seminar in Indianapolis.

Tate filed what he describes a punitive class action lawsuit in Knox County court last month, on behalf of four different trucking companies.

Tate also attempted to file atemporary restraining order, aimed to keep Haslam from contacting companies. A judge in Knoxville denied that motion late last month.

Pilot attorneys have maintained the companies they contact and make amends with, are not asked to sign a release. This means the same trucking companies that are repaid any rebate errors, may also join a lawsuit against Pilot Flying J.

Tate wouldn't say how the Freeh Group got involved with the case, only that he was thrilled to have these "experts in their fieldto help people who have been defrauded."

"Look at what we're facing? A billionaire? The largest supplier of diesel in the country?Approved by the NFL? It's all his resources against ours," said Tate.

Louis Freeh served as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations until 2001. The Freeh Group's recent report on child sex charges at Penn State was highly publicized.

Pilot Flying J's Board of Directors announced May 1 Reid Weingarten, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson with Department of Justice experience, would conduct an internal investigation.

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