Five Plead Guilty in ID Theft Scheme Using Rideshare, Food Delivery Apps

Federal courthouse
Federal courthouse in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

The previous of 5 Brazilian nationals billed by San Diego federal prosecutors for functioning a nationwide plan that concerned stealing the identities of rideshare and foods supply app consumers has pleaded responsible, the U.S. Attorney’s Business office stated Wednesday.

Prosecutors say that in excess of the course of 3 decades, the team stole information and facts from victims’ driver’s licenses and Social Protection quantities, utilized that data to make driver accounts for rideshare and delivery firms, then used, rented or bought these accounts, like to individuals who otherwise would not qualify to drive for the businesses.

The U.S. Attorney’s Place of work states the defendants been given payments from the companies and laundered the proceeds of the scheme, which started in 2018.

When the COVID-19 pandemic commenced in 2020, the defendants shifted absent from rideshare firms when desire for individuals solutions decreased and moved largely to food shipping and delivery expert services, which had been far extra successful through the pandemic.

Prosecutors say that in addition to defrauding the app-based companies, the defendants also stole and employed the identities of almost 100 folks. The U.S. Attorney’s Place of work did not determine which companies ended up used in the alleged scheme.

Gustavo De Avila Moreira Farinha, 30 Tatiane Pereira Arantes, 38 Natalia Magalhaes Rocha, 30 Leonardo Trulsen De Oliveira, 30, and Thassya Da Silva Alves, 30, were charged last year and have since pleaded responsible to conspiracy and aggravated identification theft counts.

“As of nowadays, all five defendants in this case have admitted their elaborate scheme to steal the identities of hundreds of unsuspecting victims, numerous of whom turned to food stuff shipping and delivery providers to endure the pandemic,” U.S. Legal professional Randy Grossman claimed. “Identity theft can be a nightmare of annoyance and angst for victims who struggle to reclaim their excellent names. These defendants are the kinds having difficulties now.”

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