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Feds: Uber Driver Charged Woman $1K for Ride From Hell

He could face life in prison for kidnapping
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2018 7:56 AM CDT
Harbir Parmar is seen in this photo provided by the FBI, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018 in New York.   (Photo Courtesy of the FBI, via AP)

(Newser) – An Uber driver in New York could get up to life in prison for the nightmarish ride he gave a woman earlier this year. Federal prosecutors say Harbir Parmar picked the woman up the night of Feb. 21 to drive her from Manhattan to her home in White Plains, about an hour away. But when she fell asleep, prosecutors say, Parmar changed the destination to Boston. The woman told investigators that she woke up to find "his hand under her shirt touching the top of her breast," the AP reports. She said she reached for her phone, but he took it and began driving again. He refused to take her to a police station and eventually left her by the side of an interstate in Connecticut. She later found her credit card had been charged $1,047 for a trip to Massachusetts.

Authorities say Parmar also charged cleaning fees, falsely claiming the woman had vomited in his vehicle—something he had done with at least two other passengers. He is also accused of overcharging riders on at least 11 occasions by entering false information on their destinations. Parmar, 24, was charged Tuesday with kidnapping, which carries a potential life sentence, and wire fraud, the New York Times reports. "No one—man or woman—should fear such an attack when they simply hire a car service," said US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. Uber says it is fully cooperating with the investigation of the alleged "horrible incident." Authorities say the case shows the need for stronger background checks of drivers. (Many Uber users have complained about so-called "vomit fraud.")

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