NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case it’s worth $15,000 and a white Mercedes that can’t be claimed until the owner makes good on a raft of unpaid tolls violations.
It’s a tale that begins at the Midtown Tunnel in Queens on Sunday night when a fake Uber driver bringing a fare into the city from the John F. Kennedy airport caught police attention for having Florida license plates.
According to law enforcement sources, it was no easy traffic stop because the officers had to weave though heavy traffic to track the driver down.
Once they did and the car’s passenger got his bag out of the trunk, there was a king’s ransom of orange-and-white envelopes, an estimated 75 to 90 notices for unpaid MTA and Port Authority tolls.
The driver, Richard Abraham of Brooklyn, had a suspended license for failing to answer four summonses. To top it off, the car wasn’t even his but instead belonged to his cousin.
When that cousin showed up at the 108th Precinct to claim the car, he was told he’d have to first pay the $15,000 in overdue fines first. He also got a summons for allowing an unlicensed driver to use his car.
The fake Uber driver was charged with unlicensed driving and operating an illegal for hire vehicle.