A 38-year-old Florida man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in a case of exploiting a rideshare company’s payment gateway.
Jesus Alejandro Millan Gomez, 38, Kissimmee, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud offense and a mandatory consecutive term of 2 years for the aggravated identity theft offense.
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Millan Gomez used multiple fraudulent rideshare driver accounts that had been created through an online registration process using stolen identities.
As a part of the scheme, Millan Gomez caused numerous rider accounts to also be established by others outside of Florida, including in Mexico and elsewhere.
Using multiple cell phones at the same time and a “spoofing” location application to mask or manipulate his location to the rideshare service, Millan Gomez received instructions to pair trips together using cell phones that he controlled.
Once a trip was underway, Millan Gomez used the location app to deceive the rideshare service into believing that he had driven significantly further than the original destination requested, which increased the fare.
This fraud scheme exploited a then-existing weakness in the rideshare company’s payment system and defrauded the company of $232,994.87 in payments.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranganath Manthripragada.
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