Bronx Man Sentenced To 39 Months In Prison For Ride Sharing Scam
Louis Pina was sentenced to 39 months in prison for defrauding drivers of two ride sharing companies. The scammers accessed drivers accounts without authorization. They then diverted driver funds to bank accounts controlled by Pina and his associates. Pina previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud. He also pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft in federal court. Pina is also the eighth defendant to have pled guilty in the ride sharing scheme.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:
Louis Pina was a leader of a criminal consortium that deceived the drivers of two ride sharing companies. Thus enabling the criminals to access drivers’ accounts and steal millions of dollars. Hard-working men and women who worked long hours to make a living had their hard-earned money stolen.
The Brazen Ride Sharing Scammers
According to the Complaint and Pina’s guilty plea:
Pina and his co-defendants defrauded drivers and ride sharing companies using mobile ride-sharing applications. The Scheme targeted drivers associated with Company-1 and Company-2. The scammers called Company-1 and Company-2 drivers posing as Company-1 and Company-2 representatives. They deceived the drivers into providing unique personal identifiers and other information. Consequently, the information was used to obtain unauthorized access into the driver accounts.
As a result, the scammers were able to log into Company-1 and Company-2 driver accounts without authorization. Thus, altering information in those compromised accounts and diverted driver funds to bank accounts they controlled.
Pina personally called Company-1 and Company-2 drivers to obtain their login credentials, hacked the accounts of Company-1 and Company-2 drivers, and recruited others into the Scheme. Scheme members compromised hundreds of Company-1 and Company-2 driver accounts and stole millions of dollars from Company-1 and Company-2 driver accounts.
Judge Rakoff also ordered Pina to make court-ordered restitution in the amount of $198,663 to Company-1 and $243,112 to Company-2.