Howard Beach Uber driver gets three years in prison for federal kidnapping and wire fraud charges

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An Uber driver from Howard Beach was sentenced for taking a passenger to New England after she fell asleep in the car and sending false destination information to the company on multiple occasions, prosecutors announced Monday.

Harbir Parmar, 25, pleaded guilty on March 11 to kidnapping and wire fraud. He was sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $3,642 in restitution and forfeiture.

“Many people rely on rideshare apps to navigate New York safely,” said Geoffrey S. Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “But when a woman hailed an ridesharing car driven by Harbir Parmar, her ride home took a turn for the worst.  With Parmar’s lengthy prison term, he will no longer be able to take advantage of ridesharing customers.”

According to charges, on Feb. 21, 2018, Parmar picked up a woman in Manhattan who ordered a ride to White Plains. When the woman fell asleep in the backseat, Parmar changed her destination to an address in Boston, Massachusetts, and proceeded to drive to that location. When the victim woke up, the car was in Connecticut.

When the victim asked to be brought to White Plains or to the police station, Parmar refused and dropped her off on the side of I-95 in Branford, Connecticut. The victim went to a nearby convenience store where she sought assistance.

Charges state that from December 2016 and February 2018, Parmar sent false information about destinations to the rideshare company through the mobile app on multiple occasions. At times, he also sent false information about the application of a cleaning fee to be applied to the accounts of the customers, who then filed complaints with Uber about being overcharged for their rides.  These instances have resulted in thousands of dollars in improper charges to the customers’ accounts.

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