Grimey NY Cabbie Overcharged Over 500 Passengers

A rogue taxi driver overcharged 574 passengers in a single month in what appears to be the worst such long-term ripoff in the city's history.

Wasim Khalid Cheema was finally nailed month in an administrative hearing last month that was made public today.

Officials said that Cheema, a licensed medallion driver since May 2007, pulled a simple scam to cheat unwary passengers -- he set the meter at rate code 4, covering trips to Nassau and Westchester, instead of code 1, which covers the five boroughs.

The suburban rate is double the in-city rate.

Officials reviewing records obtained from GPS technology recently required in all cabs determined that Cheema had swindled 574 passengers between July 1 and 31, 2009.

Cheema earned $11,499 for 642 trips that month. The other driver who shared his cab made only $4,803 for 439 trips.

Over a six-month period, officials estimated that Cheema 40,000 more than an average cabbie.

Administrative law judge Alessandra Zorgniotti recommended on Jan. 21 that his hack license be lifted and he be fined $500.

Cheema did not appear at the hearing.

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