COLMA (CBS SF ) — A 25-year-old Uber contractor pleaded no contest to felony grand theft charges Monday in a cyber-fraud case involving more than $25,000 in food deliveries and free Uber rides, according to San Mateo County prosecutors.
Bernie Ali Martinez of Colma was reported to police after Uber discovered the theft and fired him.
According to the district attorney’s office, Martinez had been given a password that allowed him to access Uber’s computer system, and he used it to issue $25,543 in credits to himself as well as his friends and family between Feb. 29 and May 16, 2016.
The credits were used to pay for rides as well as take-out deliveries through the UberEATS app, often from Martinez’s home.
Investigators served a search warrant last year on Aug. 26, seizing his computer and phone.
“Right from the beginning he acknowledged his responsibility,” District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
“He told us he thought it was much less,” Wagstaffe added.
Martinez was arrested in early October.
He’s scheduled to return to court for sentencing on Sept. 8 and is facing six months in county jail under the terms of his plea agreement. The court may also reduce the felony to a misdemeanor if he makes restitution.
Martinez is out of custody on $10,000 bail. His defense attorney could not be reached for comment.
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