Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Rail Worker Accused of Swiping $1.8M

FORT WORTH (CN) - Former Burlington Northern Santa Fe worker Matthew Wyrick was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a scheme that allegedly cost the railroad $1.8 million.

Wyrick, 35, of Olathe, Kan., was indicted in Fort Worth Federal Court along with his father-in-law, Robert Steele, 64, of Gardner, Kan. Steele has surrendered to federal authorities in Kansas City, Kan.

According to the one-count indictment, Wyrick, who was authorized to approve invoices for payment to BNSF contractors, conspired with Steele to defraud the railroad between March 2005 and August 2007. The two men operated S&S Erectors.

Wyrick allegedly recruited BNSF vendors to submit fraudulent invoices, and approved them for payment. The vendors then paid kickbacks to Wyrick, prosecutors said.

"Over the course of the scheme, Wyrick and Steele caused S&S Erectors to bill BNSF over $1.8 million," prosecutors said in a statement.

"Steele paid Wyrick more than $600,000 of the proceeds from S&S Erectors' contract with BNSF."

S&S Erectors also allegedly submitted 21 invoices totaling $328,948 to BNSF for hazardous waste disposal.

Prosecutors say the invoices were fraudulent because the waste disposal was not "hazardous" and S&S Erectors disposed of it for less than $10,000.

If convicted, each man faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Follow @davejourno
Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.