Five Uber drivers fleeced the instant hailing app out of £10,000 by taking bookings for rides paid for with stolen credit cards, a court heard.
Onome Omonoseh, 19, coordinated the “sophisticated” scam by setting up fake customer accounts to book lengthy journeys, racking up large bills which were charged to stolen credit cards.
Drivers Michael Julien, 50, Dan-Alexandru Pasat, 29, Kamlesh Sagoo, 62, Ibrahim Tekagac, 35, and Mihai Toader, 32, collected the hefty fees, and paid Omonoseh in cash for his part in the scam.
Southwark crown court heard Uber lost up to £10,000 to the fraud between February and December last year.
Omonoseh, the “coordinator”, is only thought to have made £1,760 despite playing a leading role.
“Mr Omonoseh was the main instigator of the frauds against Uber - creating bogus Uber customer accounts on the app and making bogus trips for which drivers were paid,” said prosecutor Stephen Requena.
“The details were taken from a website which sells credit card for fraudulent and criminal purposes.
“GPS location showed the mobile phone handset did not always travel with the drivers and in effect the fraud by Mr Omonoseh and the co-defendants was in collaboration.”
Judge Peter Ader, sentencing, said: “This was a sophisticated operation that took place over a period of time to defraud Uber of their commission and their fee. Each of of you played a part in this operation.”
He sentenced Omonoseh to eight months in a Young Offenders’ Institution and jailed Julien, who was involved in 17 fraudulent trips, for eight months.
Pasat, Tekagac, and Toader were each given six-month prison sentences suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £500 compensation each to Uber.
Sagoo, who made the least amount of money from the scam, was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, and was told to pay Uber £486 in compensation.
Omonoseh, from Islington; Julien, from Southwark; Pasat, from Ilford; Sagoo, of Neasden; Tekagac, from Enfield; and Toader, from Stevenage, Herts, admitted fraud by false representation.