A commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) driver narrowly avoided prison after stealing more than $8,000 from the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP).
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 was convicted at Geelong Magistrates’ Court on Monday 29 March 2021. He was sentenced to a 24-month Community Correction Order and ordered to perform 275 hours of unpaid community work.
The court heard he had been convicted in 2003 of another fraud totaling more than $12,000 – but had not paid back the stolen money.
During the hearing, the Magistrate told the driver’s lawyer there was a very real prospect of imprisonment. However, he was narrowly convinced by the defence lawyer to instead place the driver on a Community Correction Order.
Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) suspended the driver’s accreditation in February 2020. Now that the matter has been finalised in court – following lengthy court closures due to COVID-19 – CPVV is considering whether or not to take further action.
CPV drivers and booking service providers have a responsibility to ensure all MPTP transactions are processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Correct Charging of Fares document PDF, 439.0 KB.
Anyone who commits fraud may face criminal action and lose their right to work in the CPV industry.