Posted July 24, 2013

Browns CEO: Team won’t be sold despite federal investigation of owner

Browns CEO Joe Banner doesn't expect the team to be sold. (George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Browns CEO Joe Banner doesn’t expect the team to be sold. (George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner told reporters Wednesday that he doesn’t believe the team will be sold, despite an ongoing federal fraud investigation into new owner Jimmy Haslam, reports The Associated Press.

Haslam was officially approved as the team’s owner last October. He paid a little more than $1 billion for the franchise.

But by April, he was being investigated by the FBI for alleged fraud by his Pilot Flying J truck-stop company. Federal authorities raided his company’s offices on April 15. At the time, there were reportedly 18 pending civil lawsuits alleging rebate fraud by the company.

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But Haslam has said he has no plans to sell the teamThe Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that the NFL would not ask Haslam to step aside. Haslam has now reached a settlement with some of the customers who alleged fraud.