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Defrauded Cab Drivers Set to Collect Restitution

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TWC News: Defrauded Cab Drivers Set to Collect Restitution
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Some cab drivers are about to cash in after the State Attorney General said a Queens cab company defrauded them. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.

Mohammad Rahman says he doesn't make a lot of money as a taxi driver, so he was outraged by all the late fees he was being charged at SLSJet Management.

"Every shift $15," Rahman says.

Rahman is one of dozens of drivers who accused SLSJet of defrauding them. They went to the State Attorney General's office in 2011—and Tuesday, he announced a $1.6 million settlement that includes restitution and other penalties.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the company billed drivers for fees they didn't incur, which is a violation of lease cap rules.

"I feel happy. This is not for the money. This is for the justice because that manager—that garage was very greedy. They were very greedy and cruel," Rahman says.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission and the AG's office investigated after a series of protests by the Taxi Workers Alliance.

The organization says what started out as 10 driver complaints quickly grew to more than 70 within a matter of months—and that's just the drivers who spoke out.

"A lot of drivers did not come forward because of retaliation. They didn't want to lose those car...to drive their car," says Javaid Tariq of the Taxi Workers Alliance.

The company refused to comment about the settlement but the AG says it will pay about $1.4 million to drivers who worked here between 2011 and 2012.

The company also faces $125,000 dollars in penalties.

Close to 2,000 drivers are eligible for restitution, once they file a claim to get the money they believe was wrongly taken from them.

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