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Edison man admits fraudulently overbilling Amtrak

A train pulls into the station as patrons enjoy the 26th annual holiday train exhibit at the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge on Dec 11.

A former Amtrak supervisor has admitted to fraudulently overbilling Amtrak overtime and regular hours that he claimed to be working when he was actually not present at Amtrak work sites.

Richard Vogel, 64, of Edison, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court on Feb. 15 to an information charging him with converting to his own use federal government funds, according to a statement prepared by U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Vogel, who had been employed by Amtrak since January 1977 until he retired in July 2016, supervised approximately 35 employees in work gangs on the Construction Signals side of the Communications and Signals Department, New York Division.

Between November 2015 and June 2016, Vogel fraudulently billed Amtrak for 41 regular hours and 685.75 overtime hours when he was not actually present at Amtrak work sites, resulting in a loss to Amtrak of more than $71,000, according to the statement.

The count to which Vogel pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and fines of up to $250,000, or twice the gain or loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater.

The plea agreement requires Vogel to make full restitution for losses related to his conduct in the amount of $71,946.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 22.

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