Semiannual Report to Congress #60 (April 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019)
I am pleased to submit the Amtrak Office of Inspector General Semiannual Report to the United States Congress for the six months ending September 30, 2019. This is the 60th semiannual report we have produced since our establishment in 1988.
During this period, our investigators identified a fraud scheme in which criminals used stolen credit cards to buy Amtrak tickets, cancel the tickets in exchange for electronic vouchers, and subsequently sell the vouchers via the internet. In one case involving over $540,000 in fraudulent vouchers, our agents searched the subject’s residence, and discovered numerous explosive devices, loaded semi-automatic weapons, armor piercing ammunition, cash, and illegal drugs. Our work in this area has led to arrests, indictments, and in the aforementioned case, a guilty plea. Investigative work also led to a $466,500 settlement related to a scheme in which several contractors allegedly inflated invoices and engaged in bid rigging on Amtrak construction projects. Additionally, our agents pursued multiple cases of health care fraud in which criminals bilked Amtrak’s insurance plans through false claims, excessive and unnecessary tests, and prescribing unnecessary and expensive drugs and medical equipment (oftentimes without the patients’ knowledge). Our auditors continued to generate impactful reports, such as a report on security at Washington Union Station and Ivy City maintenance facility. We found that perimeter and interior security weaknesses, some of them longstanding, put Amtrak employees and passengers at risk. We also completed the third audit in a series that examined staffing practices within the company’s Mechanical department, where we found it had not systematically managed its workforce at key preventative maintenance facilities, which resulted in unnecessary costs.
Finally, we welcome our new Deputy Inspector General, Mary L. Kendall, who brings a wealth of experience to our team. In the next six months, we will continue to focus our efforts on high-impact areas important to the company, the Board of Directors, Congress, and the public. We trust that you will find this report informative.