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

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

The last of five Brazilian nationals billed by San Diego federal prosecutors for managing a nationwide scheme that included thieving the identities of rideshare and meals supply app prospects has pleaded guilty, the U.S. Attorney’s Business office explained Wednesday.

Prosecutors say that over the system of 3 a long time, the team stole facts from victims’ driver’s licenses and Social Security quantities, utilised that facts to make driver accounts for rideshare and shipping companies, then made use of, rented or sold all those accounts, which includes to folks who usually would not qualify to push for the providers.

The U.S. Attorney’s Business claims the defendants gained payments from the corporations and laundered the proceeds of the plan, which began in 2018.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, the defendants shifted absent from rideshare firms when desire for those expert services lessened and moved largely to food stuff supply solutions, which were considerably extra productive through the pandemic.

Prosecutors say that in addition to defrauding the app-centered businesses, the defendants also stole and utilized the identities of virtually 100 people today. The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not determine which firms were being 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, ended up billed past yr and have given that pleaded responsible to conspiracy and aggravated id theft counts.

“As of today, all five defendants in this circumstance have admitted their elaborate plan to steal the identities of hundreds of unsuspecting victims, quite a few of whom turned to food delivery companies to endure the pandemic,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman reported. “Identity theft can be a nightmare of stress and angst for victims who battle to reclaim their very good names. These defendants are the types struggling now.”