An Uber driver has confessed kidnapping and wire fraud charges after he drove a sleeping passenger at least 60 miles from her endpoint in order to, apparently, increase his fare. She had awoken to find the driver “with his hand under her t-shirt”, court records said, and when she had tried to call for help, he had snatched her phone. She had then fled, only to find herself in Connecticut instead of New York leaving her with a $1,047 fare. Harbir Parmar, 25, of Long Beach, New York, pleaded guilty on Monday in a US district court to the pair of charges. According to testimony [PDF] by FBI Agent James Menton, in February last year, Parmar kidnapped, allegedly sexually assaulted, and denied to release his victim after she requested he drive her from Manhattan to her then home in White Plains, New York.
Agent Menton said the woman booked the trip using the ride-sharing app on her smartphone and was picked up around 11.30 pm. Once inside, she fell asleep in the back of the car. This was when Parmar altered the destination of the trip from White Plains to Boston via the Uber app on his phone and started driving in that direction, according to the FBI agent. Harbir Parmar admitted to a series of similar offenses which had earned him $3,600 in charges. A spokesman for Uber said, ‘”What’s been reported is horrifying and something no person should go through. As soon as we became aware, we straightaway removed this individual’s access to the platform.
Parmar faces potentially as long as life behind bars for kidnapping, while the wire fraud conviction carries up to 20 years. Parmar is due to be sentenced on June 24 in the Manhattan Southern New York US District Court by Judge Vincent Briccetti.US attorney Geoffrey Berman said Parmar had “terrorized” his victim and would be “held accountable”. “Last year, Harbir Parmar took advantage of a weak woman who utilized a ridesharing service by kidnapping and terrorizing her. In addition, he charged many of his ridesharing customers with fraudulent fees,” US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said following the scumbag’s guilty pleas earlier today.