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Former Uber contractor gets jail time for taking free rides, food

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The Uber ride hailing app is seen on a smartphone Thursday, March 9, 2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
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A 25-year-old former Uber contractor from Colma has been sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation for using the ride-hailing service’s internal system to issue more than $25,000 in free rides and food deliveries for himself, his friends and family, prosecutors said Monday.

Bernie Ali Martinez received the sentence Friday after he pleaded no contest on June 26 to felony grand theft charges for a case that was reported to police after Uber discovered the theft and fired him, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Martinez had been given a password to access Uber’s system and he used it to issue $25,543 in credits to himself, friends and family members to pay for rides and deliveries from the UberEATS app, often to Martinez’s home, prosecutors said.

Investigators served a search warrant in August 2016 at his home in Colma, where his home computer and phone were seized, prosecutors said.

Along with the jail sentence and probation, Martinez was ordered to pay more than $18,000 in restitution and various fines and court fees, prosecutors said.

His defense attorney Jason Cueva declined to comment on the case.

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