OIG investigation leads to guilty plea in railroad retirement fraud case

May 01, 2024 |  Investigations Press Release

May 1, 2024

New Orleans — A former Amtrak employee pleaded guilty April 22, 2024 in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, to making false statements to the Railroad Retirement Board.


Tonya Butler, 55, of Slidell, made false statements to the RRB for the purpose of obtaining sickness benefits, but in truth, she was working full time for an interstate trucking company. Butler was paid about $7,345.52, an Amtrak Office of Inspector General investigation found. In addition, Butler agreed to make restitution for a $21,334.91 Paycheck Protection Program loan, a $34,300 Economic Injury Disaster loan, and $7,818.22 in short-term disability benefits she received through an Amtrak sponsored union benefit plan. The exact restitution figure will be determined and ordered by the Court.


Butler faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in prison, $100,000 in fines, and one year of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for July 22, 2024.


U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans praised the work of the Amtrak OIG and the Railroad Retirement Board OIG in investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward J. Rivera of the Financial Crimes Unit is in charge of the prosecution.


Reports of fraud, waste, or abuse, including suspected pandemic relief fraud; 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 https://direc.to/hPAu.



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