Amtrak employee admits stealing and reselling equipment at North Brunswick plant


An Ocean County man admitted to fraudulently obtaining chainsaws and chainsaw parts from his employer and then selling the equipment for his own benefit.

Jose Rodriguez, 49, of The Brick, pleaded guilty by videoconference on December 13 before U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi to a report accusing him of one count of postal fraud, according to information provided by Acting American lawyer Rachael A. Honig.

Rodriguez had previously been charged in a March complaint with one count of theft from an agency receiving federal funds and one count of theft of government property.

According to the documents filed in this case and the statements made in court, Rodriguez had been an Amtrak employee since October 2007, most recently as a Senior Engineer and Repairer, based at an Amtrak facility in North Brunswick.

Between March 2012 and July 2020, Rodriguez obtained 114 chainsaws, 122 chainsaw replacement bars and 222 replacement chains from Amtrak, with a total value of more than $ 76,000, under the false pretext that this equipment would be used for Amtrak projects, but then sold the equipment either through an online auction service or directly to buyers, the statement said.

Rodriguez used the U.S. Postal Service to send the chainsaw and the stolen chainsaw parts to buyers across the United States, including buyers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the statement said.

The charge of mail fraud carries a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000.

Judgment is scheduled for April 19.

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