A 25-year-old Uber driver who admitted 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 is facing life in prison.
Harbir Parmar, of Howard Beach in Queens, pleaded guilty in White Plains federal court to kidnapping and wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced on Monday, March 11. Parmar was arrested on Oct. 16 last year following an incident in February.
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.
“Last year, Harbir Parmar took advantage of a vulnerable woman who utilized a ridesharing service by kidnapping and terrorizing her,” Berman said. “In addition, he charged many of his ridesharing customers with fraudulent fees. Today, he admitted his guilt in open court, and will now be held accountable for his brazen crimes.”
Parmar is scheduled to be sentenced on June 24, when he will face life in prison on the kidnapping charge and a maximum of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud charge.
“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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