Access-a-Ride Driver Records 661 Fake Trips In MTA’s $ 70,000 Pocket, DA Says – NBC New York

A 72-year-old Long Island man working as an Access-a-Ride driver attempted to steal nearly $ 70,000 from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority by faking erroneous trips, 661 in total, before his was arrested, according to the district attorney of Queens.

Prosecutors say the Freeport man filed bogus claims between September 2020 and February 2021 and won an additional $ 69,860 for rides he never provided.

The accused driver reportedly recorded 661 trips to a woman’s account between that six-month period via a trip call app. If these routes were correct, he would have chosen the passenger, on average, three times a day for six months.

MTA investigators observed the Access-a-Ride operator on several occasions while he was supposed to drive the passenger in question, but each time there were no passengers in his yellow wheelchair accessible TLC taxi. , according to prosecutors.

“The Access-a-Ride service offers essential transportation options for
those with mobility problems. Unfortunately, this defendant would have found a way to rip off the system, “District Attorney Melinda Katz said on Friday.

“It is moral bankruptcy that this unscrupulous driver was allegedly able to rip off nearly $ 70,000 from a program specifically designed to provide vital transportation to people with disabilities. This case shows why strict fraud controls must be put in place throughout the MTA, ”added the inspector general of the transit agency, Carolyn Pokorny.

Katz said the Freeport man appeared in Queens Criminal Court Thursday on charges of robbery, identity theft and tampering with business records. If found guilty, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

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