A 25-year-old Uber driver has been sentenced after admitting to picking up a Westchester woman, kidnapping her and sexually assaulting her in his car before dropping her on the side of I-95 in Connecticut.
Harbir Parmar, of Howard Beach in Queens, has been sentenced to three years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty in White Plains federal court to kidnapping and wire fraud following his arrest on Oct. 16 last year.
In addition to his prison term, Parmar has been ordered to pay $3,642 in restitution, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced. Parmar pleaded guilty to the charges on March 11.
On Feb. 21, 2018, a woman ordered a vehicle through Parmar’s ride-sharing company to pick her up in Manhattan and take her to her home in White Plains. She was picked up by Parmar at approximately 11:30 p.m. and promptly fell asleep.
While she was asleep in the backseat, Parmar admitted to changing the destination in his computer’s GPS to Boston, and proceeded to drive toward Massachusetts. When the woman woke up, Parmar was in the back seat with her, with his hand under her shirt, touching the top her breast.
When she woke up, Parmar proceeded back to the driver’s seat and continued driving. The woman asked to be taken to White Plains or to a nearby police station, but Parmar refused, dropping her off on the side of I-95 in Branford, Conn. The woman then went to a nearby convenience store for assistance and law enforcement was called.
In addition to the assault and kidnapping, from December 2016 through February last year, Parmar sent false information about the destination of his company’s customers through the company’s mobile app nearly a dozen times.
He also sent false information about the application of a cleaning fee to be applied to the accounts of the company’s customers on at least three occasions.
Berman said that in those instances, customers of the ride-sharing company filed complaints about being overcharged, resulting in more than $3,600 in improper charges to customers.
“Many people rely on rideshare apps to navigate New York safely,” Berman said. “But when a woman hailed a 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.”
“The victim, in this case, utilized a ride-sharing service trusting that her driver would provide a safe ride home,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr., said. “Instead, Harbir Parmar made an outrageous choice, deciding to unlawfully take advantage of his passenger at a moment of vulnerability for his own selfish motives. This kind of behavior should never be tolerated.”
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