A commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) driver who swindled more than $27,000 from the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) has been sentenced at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court.

The MPTP provides subsidised CPV trips for people who are unable to use other forms of public transport due to disability or other accessibility needs.

The driver pleaded guilty to one rolled-up charge of obtaining property by deception. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Correction Order and will have to perform 120 hours of unpaid community work.

He will also have to pay all of the stolen money back to Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV). By the time of the court date – 23 March 2021 – he had paid back $15,000.

CPVV cancelled the driver’s accreditation in January after discovering his misconduct. He has also been disqualified from reapplying for driver accreditation for four years.

Aaron de Rozario, CPVV’s Chief Executive Officer, said the driver had made a deliberate attempt over a significant period of time to defraud a system set up to help some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people.

“The MPTP is a lifeline for thousands of people. Being able to use MPTP services allows them to participate in community life, and in many cases access employment or education,” he said.

“We take MPTP fraud very seriously. We have multiple processes in place to identify fraudulent MPTP transactions. Anyone who commits fraud, no matter the level, risks criminal action and losing their right to work in the commercial passenger vehicle industry.”

Drivers and booking service providers have a responsibility to ensure all transactions are processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Correct Charging of Fares document PDF, 439.0 KB.