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AMTRAK SUPERINTENDENT OF TRANSPORTATION PLEADS GUILTY TO MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS TO OIG AGENTS IN INVESTIGATION OF CONTRACT STEERING

On October 12, 2017, Benjamin Sheets, Amtrak Superintendent of Transportation, Chicago Union Station, pleaded guilty to making false statements to our agents. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois, announced that Sheets admitted in a plea agreement that he steered work to his wife’s company to photograph train riders and families at Amtrak’s “Polar Express” event. Sheets was also the business manager for his wife’s company and failed to disclose this relationship to Amtrak.

GOVERNANCE: QUALITY CONTROL REVIEW OF THE INDEPENDENT AUDIT OF AMTRAK'S CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDED 2017

Amtrak (the company) contracted with the independent certified public accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP to audit its consolidated financial statements as of September 30, 2017, and for the year then ended, and to provide a report on internal control over financial reporting and on compliance and other matters. Because the company receives federal assistance, it must obtain an audit performed in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

GOVERNANCE: Opportunities to Improve Controls over Medical Claim Payments

We found that the company appears to be identifying only a small portion of potentially fraudulent medical claims made by individual medical service providers. Our work indicated that 14 percent of claims submitted by physicians, nurses, physical therapists and other individual providers from 2013 to 2015 were potentially fraudulent, which is significantly higher than the 1 percent of claims identified by the company’s primary claim administrator.

FORMER EMPLOYEE SENTENCED FOR FALSE STATEMENTS TO AMTRAK OIG AGENTS IN INVESTIGATION OF CONTRACT STEERING

A former Amtrak Superintendent of Transportation at Chicago Union Station, Benjamin Sheets, was sentenced on February 27, 2018, in the Federal District Court of Northern Illinois after pleading guilty to making false statements to our agents in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1).