Confirmed Rumor: Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam had no idea that his rogue employees were conducting business in a way that defrauded customers of over $80 Million over period from 2006-2013.
Although some say Haslam was technically in charge of the company, he was totally oblivious to what was going on. While the scheme was openly discussed among countless employees, Haslam was ignorant about how his company operated. Many people that reported directly to Haslam were involved and ultimately separated from the company, but none ever uttered a word about the practice to Haslam. He was completely in the dark.
The employees of Flying J truck stops viewed their customers as being too unsophisticated to noticed they were being defrauded.
The company applauded itself for acting quickly to rectify the situation, after less than 7 years of fraud.
So here’s a lesson to other CEO’s out there: make sure you have no idea what is going on.
Plausible deniability. One of the keys to success in business.