Amtrak employee pleads guilty to “Polar Express’ scheme
CHICAGO – An Amtrak employee has pleaded guilty to a scheme in which he steered thousands of dollars in business from its “Polar Express” train ride to his wife’s photo company.
Fifty-year-old Benjamin Sheets of the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove pleaded guilty to making false statements to the government on Thursday and faces up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced in February.
Federal authorities say Sheets didn’t tell Amtrak that he was also the business manager for his wife’s company before arranging for the company to photograph train riders who took part in the popular holiday season event. They say the company sold 3,679 photos for $10 each at Chicago’s Union Station’s Great Hall and then Sheets created false records and made false statements to hide what he’d done.