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Amtrak Employee Admits Defrauding Amtrak Over $76,000 in Equipment

Brick Township

An Ocean County man today admitted to fraudulently obtaining chainsaws and chainsaw parts from his employer Amtrak and then selling this equipment for personal profit, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Honig, Jose Rodriguez, 49, of Brick, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with mail fraud. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig stated that Rodriguez was previously charged by complaint in March 2021 with theft from an agency receiving federal funds and theft of government property.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Rodriguez had been an Amtrak employee since October 2007, most recently as a senior engineer and repairman, based out of an Amtrak facility in North Brunswick. 

Between March 2012 and July 2020, Rodriguez obtained 114 chainsaws, 122 chainsaw replacement bars, and 222 replacement chains from Amtrak, the total value of which was over $76,000, under the pretense that this equipment would be used for Amtrak projects, but then sold the equipment either on an online auction service or directly to purchasers. 

Rodriguez used the U.S. Postal Service to mail the stolen chainsaw and chainsaw parts to purchasers throughout the United States, including purchasers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.