Former Amtrak employee sentenced to prison for fraudulently obtaining, selling $76,000 worth of chainsaws and chainsaw parts

April 26, 2022 |  Investigations Press Release

For Immediate Release

April 26, 2022


NEWARK, N.J. — A former Amtrak employee was sentenced April 19, 2022, in U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, to 18 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining over $76,000 worth of Amtrak-owned chainsaws and chainsaw parts and selling them for personal profit.


Jose Rodriguez, 49, of Brick, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. According to court documents and statements made in court, Rodriguez, a former Amtrak senior engineer and repairman based in North Brunswick, obtained approximately 114 chainsaws, 122 chainsaw replacement bars, and 222 replacement chains from Amtrak under the false pretense that this equipment would be used for Amtrak projects. Rodriguez, however, 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, Rodriguez to was sentenced to three years of supervised release.


U.S. Attorney Philip R. 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. More information is available in the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:


Reports of fraud, waste, or abuse; criminal or unethical acts affecting Amtrak’s property or operations; or mismanagement in Amtrak programs or operations can be made 24 hours a day via the Amtrak OIG Hotline at 1-800-468-5469 or online at



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