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Employee Sentenced to 18 Months for Defrauding Amtrak of Over $76,000 Worth of Chainsaws, Chainsaw Parts

By kbm0423 on
North Brunswick Township

An Ocean County man was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining chainsaws and chainsaw parts from his employer Amtrak and then selling this equipment for personal profit, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Jose Rodriguez, 49, of Brick, previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with mail fraud.

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 approximately 114 chainsaws, 122 chainsaw replacement bars, and 222 replacement chains from Amtrak, the total value of which was over $76,000, under the false 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.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Quraishi sentenced Rodriguez to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $76,379 and forfeiture of $53,381.