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Amtrak Employee Gets 18 Months for Defrauding Amtrak of More Than $76,000 Worth of Chainsaws and Chainsaw Parts

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

TRENTON NJ, an Ocean County, New Jersey, 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, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi to an information charging him with one count of mail fraud. Judge Quraishi imposed the sentence today

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, New Jersey. 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.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited detectives from Amtrak Police New York Division and Mid-Atlantic Division, under the direction of Chief Sam Dotson, and special agents from Amtrak Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Waters, Eastern Field Office, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Faye Schwartz in the Special Prosecutions Division and Cari Fais, Chief of the Criminal Division’s Opioids Unit.

3 thoughts on “Amtrak Employee Gets 18 Months for Defrauding Amtrak of More Than $76,000 Worth of Chainsaws and Chainsaw Parts

  1. I worked with a building maintenance guy that took copper out of the building every day.

    Sold it to a smelting company.

    He did this for 15 years…eventually he bought a new home in NC.

    No one knew anything. This was in the late 80s before there were cameras everywhere.

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    1. Was that when you were working as an Accessory Before the Fact ?

      “… you can be charged with the crime that was committed if you aided or abetted in its commission, but did not actually commit the crime yourself. Penal Code section 31 describes the phrase “aiding and abetting” as meaning that you assisted another person to commit a crime. Prosecutors can charge you as an aider and abettor whenever you:

      Know the perpetrator’s illegal plan,
      Intentionally encourage and/or facilitate that plan, and
      Aid, promote, or instigate in the crime’s commission.
      You don’t have to be actually present at the scene of the crime to be charged under what is known as “accomplice liability.” …”

    2. You are scum for not reporting this theft.

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