Amtrak: Behind-schedule version of Enron? The Fannie Mae of railroads? 

Jim McElhatton of the Washington Times illuminates another chapter in the history of the unprofitable money-pit known as Amtrak. We already knew that they Amtrak loses money on nearly every route, and that many of their trains are more expensive to run than it would be to buy plane tickets for all of the passengers.

But it turns out they were also cooking the books:

When Amtrak assured Congress it was on a “glide path” to free itself of federal subsidies early last decade, a handful of top executives secretly had reason to know better. In fact, the rail service was on the verge of bankruptcy….

A previously undisclosed seven-year investigation later uncovered serious accounting shenanigans inside Amtrak that kept federal officials, Congress and the public in the dark about the national rail service’s true finances, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times through the Freedom of Information Act….

What authorities ultimately unraveled was that two former Amtrak officials, in fiscal 2001, either booked false or incorrect accounting entries in Amtrak’s monthly financial statements or else failed to report the activities.

To add insult to injury, Amtrak paid $150,000 in legal fees for two of the (still unnamed) employees involved in cooking the books, even though the investigation showed that “neither individual acted in good faith.”

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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