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Press Release

Former Contract Employee Pleads Guilty in Amtrak Timecard, Kickback Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – Edel Perez Acanda, 40, of Miami, Florida, has pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds for his role in a kickback scheme involving contractor employees providing services for Amtrak.  

Earlier this year, two other defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for their roles in the kickback scheme in case no. 22-cr-20559: Bryan De Castro Palomino, 34, of Plantation, Florida, and Jean Barbier, 35, of Hialeah, Florida.

De Castro Palomino, Barbier, and Perez Acanda were employees at a company that had a federal government contract with Amtrak. From 2018 to 2020, De Castro Palomino, who was the warehouse manager, inflated Perez Acanda and Barbier’s timecards to falsely reflect that Perez Acanda and Barbier worked hours that they did not work. In exchange, Perez Acanda and Barbier sent De Castro Palomino part of their paychecks. De Castro Palomino received $77,966 in exchange for his services to fraudulently edit Perez Acanda and Barbier’s timecards. De Castro Palomino admitted that he is responsible for $155,929 in restitution to Amtrak. Perez Acanda admitted that he is responsible for $81,114 in restitution to Amtrak. Barbier admitted that he is responsible for $74,414 in restitution to Amtrak.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Basil Demczak of the Amtrak Office of Inspector General Central Field Office made the announcement.

Amtrak OIG’s Miami Field Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Thompson prosecuted it. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marx Calderon is handling forfeiture.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at under case number 23-cr-20073.



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated August 10, 2023

Financial Fraud