May 18, 2016
WMATA MetroAccess Contractor Agrees To Pay $178,000 To Settle Civil Claims
On May 18, 2016, MV Transportation, a contractor with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), signed a civil settlement agreement with the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The agreement settles allegations that MV Transportation falsely billed WMATA’s MetroAccess program for the transportation of elderly and disabled riders. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, MV Transportation will pay a total of $178,014; Virginia will recover $22,531, Maryland will recover $92,040, and the District of Columbia will recover $35,831.
WMATA, a Federal Transit Administration grantee, is a tri-jurisdictional government agency that operates transit services in the Washington metropolitan area—covering the District of Columbia, northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland. It hired MV Transportation to provide paratransit and other special transportation services to individuals with disabilities through the MetroAccess program.
Our investigation revealed that MV Transportation violated the False Claims Act by falsely billing WMATA. Under the terms of its contract with WMATA, MV Transportation was allowed to bill MetroAccess for a “cancellation at the door” that occurred after the vehicle arrived at the rider’s home. Drivers were also responsible for informing supervisors when they learned that a rider had passed away, so that no further trips would be scheduled and charged. Our investigation determined that MV Transportation would continue to list the pickup, forcing a “cancellation at the door,” and then bill MetroAccess when no trip had been fulfilled and, in fact, the would-be rider was deceased.
The settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and is neither an admission of wrongdoing by MV Transportation nor a concession by the Federal and State Governments that their contentions were not well founded.