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ECan uncovers possible taxi fraud

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/08/2016

Forensic accountants have uncovered a potential $420,000 fraud in a subsidised taxi system for elderly people throughout Canterbury.

Environment Canterbury says taxi companies have potentially been overpaid for trips that there is no evidence were even taken.

Under the Total Mobility Scheme older people in the Canterbury region receive a 50 per cent discount for taxi trips, subsidised by the council and government.

The council's chief executive Bill Bayfield says taxi companies have been asked to provide an explanation for each `non-matched' trip identified by the accountants.

"We are taking this very seriously and have alerted the police so they can decide if any further action needs to be taken," he said.

"We've met with the police and the Serious Fraud Office and sent them both the forensic accountant's report."

Environment Canterbury now requires taxi companies to provide GPS data with claims for Total Mobility trips before payments are made.

Mr Bayfield said no individual user had paid more than they should have for any trips, but said the council may be out of pocket.

He said it was also unfair for a majority of taxi drivers who did the right thing.

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