Congressman’s daughter uses car with official plates to drive for Lyft

150430125919-cummings-bmore-slideshow-exlarge-169Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, appears in Baltimore in this undated file photo.

 

Washington (CNN)No, that’s not Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings driving for Lyft in his downtime.

But his daughter, Adia, who borrowed her father’s car, may have made her passengers feel like VIPs since the black Honda she uses was sporting official congressional license plates.
Lyft is a company that provides rides to subscribers who summon a car to pick them up using an app on their phone.
The Washington Post first reported that Cummings did lend his car to his daughter, who was a student at Howard University.
Someone posted a picture of the car with a Lyft sticker on a D.C. blog called “Popville” and asked which member of Congress worked for the company. The picture showed the vehicle with Maryland plates that read “US Congress” and the number “7,” which designates Cummings’ district in Baltimore, and the “Reliable Sources” gossip column at the Post solved the mystery.
Cummings explained the situation in a statement to CNN.
“In an effort to earn some extra money to pay her expenses at school, she signed up for a part-time position with one of the ride-sharing companies. They, in turn, gave her a sticker to apply to the windshield of the car,” Cummings said.
The congressman, who is the top ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee and another panel investigating the attacks in Benghazi, says after he spoke with his daughter, the congressional tags have been removed. He took responsibility for the situation, saying, “I apologize for not having removed the license plate before loaning the vehicle to her.”
Cummings’ office told CNN that the Honda is a personal car, not one leased or purchased through his campaign or official office account.
According to Lyft’s requirements posted on their website, drivers must be 21 years old, have a smartphone and “must be a covered party on your car’s in-state insurance and have in-state license plates.” The website advertises that individuals can make up to $35 per hour with the company by signing up as a driver.
Lyft riders in D.C. can still be picked up by Adia, since Cummings isn’t taking the car away.
“My daughter has now graduated from Howard and I could not be more proud of her,” Cummings said. “I have told her she can continue to use my car while she pursues full-time employment.”
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Brandon man had sexual relationship with 12-year-old niece, wanted to marry her, officials say

 – A Brandon man who, officials say, developed a romantic and sexual relationship with his niece was sentenced to 37 years in prison. He also traveled as far as Bangladesh to change her birthdate.

A federal jury in Tampa found 56-year-old Mirza Afzal Hussain guilty for aggravated identity theft, document fraud and enticing a minor – his 12-year-old niece.

In 2010, Hussain’s sister and her family, including two young daughters, legally immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh and stayed at his home. Federal officials said the family was “culturally and socially isolated, did not have employment, lacked transportation, and spoke very little English.”

During their stay at Hussain’s home, investigators said he developed an interest in his 12-year-old niece. He bought her tight-fitted clothing, jewelry, and cell phones. They said he sexually battered her and treated her as his own spouse in front of her family, and his wife, who later left him.

In early 2012, Hussain’s sister and family, including her daughters, moved out. After, investigators said Hussain sent his niece sexually explicit text messages and professed his love for her. He also said he wanted to marry her, discussed sex and solicited naked photos of her, according to court documents.

Investigators said he also convinced her to falsify reports to claim that her parents were abusing her.

By November 2012, Hussain traveled to Bangladesh and obtained a fake birth certificate to change his niece’s birthdate to make her appear to be three years older. When he returned to the U.S., he used the birth certificate to obtain a Legal Permanent Resident Card reflecting the new birthdate.

Investigators said he showed up to his niece’s home and tried to take her away from her parents. Hussain showed the new resident card as “proof” she was an adult.

“This criminal put his own agenda first, hurting his own family. He thought he could get away with his despicable behavior by lying and blaming others for his actions,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “Thanks to our HSI special agents and law enforcement partners, a jury of his peers found him guilty and he will now be unable to harm anymore. His family can feel safe knowing justice has been served.”

Officials said the case was brought on as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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