A Luxor cabdriver was arrested in July on felony charges of defrauding the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority’s Accessible Services, or Paratransit, program, the District Attorney’s Office said today.
Joseph Shcop, 64, of San Francisco was arrested by District Attorney’s Office investigators in cooperation with the SFMTA and faces two felony counts of access-card theft and six counts of unauthorized use of the personal information of another, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said.
The Paratransit program provides discounted taxi services to people who are unable to independently use public transportation due to health issues. Qualified users are issued debit cards, which they can use to pay for taxi fares at a reduced rate.
Shcop is alleged to have been in possession of at least five of these cards that he reportedly used to double his taxi income.
Shcop’s alleged activities were brought to the District Attorney’s Office by the SFMTA’s former director of the Taxis and Accessible Services Division, Chris Hayashi, Bastian said.
Video evidence and transaction data showed that Shcop would use the debit cards in lieu of cash, even when a fare actually paid in cash, according to court records. Records also show that Shcop allegedly used a card for at least one fare when no one was actually in his cab.
District Attorney's Office Investigator Mike Kloss headed the investigation in cooperation with the SFMTA.
Shcop was arraigned this afternoon and pleaded not guilty. He's expected to return to court Oct. 8 for a pre-hearing conference. Bail was set at $50,000 in July.