Cabbie Scammer Claims Plot Was Honed in Secret Meetings, Report Says

By Nicole Bode on November 29, 2010 11:10am 

One of the cabdrivers charged with ripping off passengers claimed he met with other drivers to hone their criminal tactics.
One of the cabdrivers charged with ripping off passengers claimed he met with other drivers to hone their criminal tactics.
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Flickr/Eric E Johnson

By Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Senior Editor

MANHATTAN — A cabdriver accused of ripping off almost 4,000 passengers with bogus charges hatched the plan with the help of other cabbies who met to brainstorm ways to profit off of unsuspecting riders, he reportedly told a judge.

"I met a series of drivers who decided to rob the public. They were actually having meetings at my old garage," Joseph Kastner, 49, told the Taxi and Limousine Commission in September, according to the New York Post.

Kastner explained the inner workings of the cab scam during an hour-long administrative hearing that determined whether he should be allowed to keep his taxi driver’s license, the Post reported.

Among the plots that Kastner claimed he and his counterparts dreamed up were using the higher Rate 5 flat-fee rates for in-city travel against the rules, demanding passengers pay extra for heat, and pressing the "extra" button on the meter to add improper bridge and tunnel tolls.

The TLC dismissed Kastner’s claims as last-minute scheming designed to divert scrutiny elsewhere, according to the Post.

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