A transportation company that gives rides to elderly and disabled people in the D.C. area will pay a settlement to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) after the company was accused of continuing to bill WMATA after customers died.
MV Transportation will pay $150,000 to WMATA, the attorneys general of D.C. Maryland and Virginia announced Wednesday. The company has admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
Whistleblowers who previously worked for the company told officials in 2014 that MV Transportation charged MetroAccess for "canceled" trips when the would-be riders had actually died.
The drivers also reported that the company charged MetroAccess for trips by wheelchair-accessible vehicles, which are more expensive, for riders who did not use wheelchairs.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring called the settlement a victory for taxpayers.
“Each state pays into the Metro system, and we expect that our taxpayers’ contributions will be used for the benefit of riders, not lost to fraudulent billing practices,” he said in a statement.
MV Transportation, based in Dallas, said the company works with subcontractors and that "at times, there were issues promptly conveying updates to passenger information from the subcontractor to MV to WMATA, which led to billing errors," spokeswoman Nikki Frenney said in a statement.
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The amount for which MV Transportation settled with WMATA represents less than a tenth of a percent of the company's total billings under a $168 million contract, Frenney said.
Under the terms of the settlement, Maryland will receive $92,040, D.C. will receive $35,831 and Virginia will receive $22,531.