This year I've probably got around thirty quid back from making claims against the Tube under the Customer Charter Refund. A few of my colleagues are surprised I've got this much back, as they can never remember to fill in the form. I forget a lot of the time but one guy has not only been remembering but made 7,105 claims. However, this wasn't just a normal year on the Northern Line. He was running a scam which London Underground took some time to check.
Civil servant, Trushar Patel got his family to fill in thousands of the forms and managed to claim back £22,000. He's now been jailed for 18 months and some family members received shorter sentences. The prosecutor said the scheme's execution was a "shambles of Monty Pythonesque proportions" and Tube staff failed to check if there were delays.
The family claimed refunds averaging eight delays a day on the Jubilee Line. But it appears that no checks were carried out on the services claimed and some forms were incomplete.
Judge Peter Fingret said the case showed "a high level of incompetence on the part of Transport for London and London Underground ".
"I can only comment and hope that these sentences may deter other people from obtaining cash benefits out of public funds illegally," he said.
Many times I've wondered if London Underground actually check the delays and from this it appears they don't... or rather didn't.
However I'm surprised that the family were able to launder the money (according to the BBC £4,000 was laundered) as you only get paper vouchers for more travel. Although I have seen some vouchers for sale on e-bay, so perhaps this was the deal.