Driver of ridesharing service sentenced for kidnapping passenger

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An Indian-American driver from a ride-sharing service has been sentenced after pleading guilty to charges he kidnapped a passenger.

Harbir Parmar, 25, was sentenced in White Plains, N.Y., by a federal court judge, to three years in prison for kidnapping and wire fraud.  Parmar pled guilty on March 11, before U.S. District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti, who imposed the sentence on June 24.

In addition to the prison term, Parmar, of Howard Beach, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $3,642 in restitution and forfeiture.

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, made the announcement regarding the arrest.

“Many people rely on ride-share apps to navigate New York safely. But when a woman hailed a ridesharing car driven by Harbir Parmar, her ride home took a turn for the worst,” Berman is quoted saying in a press release.  “With Parmar’s lengthy prison term, he will no longer be able to take advantage of ridesharing customers,” Berman added.

According to the Indictment and statements made during the June 24, plea proceedings, On Feb. 21, 2018, Parmar, who worked as a driver for a ridesharing company which was not named in the press release, picked up a woman passenger in New York City.

She wanted to be driven to White Plains, New York.  However, after she fell asleep in the backseat of the vehicle, Parmar changed her destination in ride-sharing company’s mobile application to an address in Boston, Massachusetts, and proceeded to drive toward that destination.

When the victim woke up, the vehicle was in Connecticut.  She requested that she be taken to White Plains or to the police station, but Parmar refused and instead dropped her off on the side of I-95 in Branford, Connecticut.  The woman went to a nearby convenience store where she sought help.

In addition, from December 2016 through February 2018, Parmar sent false information about the destinations of customers through the company’s mobile application on several occasions.

At times, he also sent false information about the application of a cleaning fee to be applied to the accounts of the company’s customers.  In these instances, customers filed complaints with company about being overcharged for their rides.  These instances have resulted in thousands of dollars in improper charges to the accounts of company customers, according to the press release.

 

 

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