US Court: Joseph Sullivan to face wire fraud charges
Over alleged involvement in a 2016 hack exposing the personal information of 57 million Uber drivers and passengers, former Uber security chief Joseph Sullivan must face wire fraud charges
A US District Judge, William Orrick, rejected Sullivan's contention that prosecutors failed to adequately demonstrate that Sullivan concealed the hacking in order to prevent Uber drivers from leaving and stopping paying their service fees. In addition, Orrick rejected Sullivan's claim that only Uber's chief executive, Travis Kalanick, and its general counsel were allegedly deceived in the course of the fraud.
Despite not being made directly to Uber drivers, these purported misrepresentations were part of a larger scheme to defraud them.
As part of an earlier indictment for obstruction of justice, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) added charges of obstruction of justice, misprision of a felony, and wire fraud against Sullivan in December. It has been claimed that Sullivan arranged to pay two hackers in exchange for their silence while concealing the hacking from users, drivers, and the US Federal Trade Commission, according to the DOJ.
After learning of the extent of the data breach, Uber terminated Sullivan's employment as Chief Security Officer in 2017. During the October 2016 breach, more than 50 million ride-sharing app users and 7 million drivers' names and email addresses were compromised. It was also discovered that approximately 600,00 driver's license numbers had been compromised.
In September 2018, the San Francisco-based company paid $148 million to settle claims from all 50 states and Washington, DC.