Man works as Lyft driver for five months, despite federal terrorism conviction

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CHICAGO, Illinois -- Ride-sharing companies promise to do criminal background checks on their drivers. But it appears one company did not.

A man with a federal terrorism conviction was out on the road... for months.

Raja Khan spent five months driving passengers around Chicago, until the city found out. Now, Lyft is calling this a mistake, but says it isn't their fault.

They're blaming the mishap on a third-party background check company that somehow cleared Khan to drive.

The 64-year-old Pakistani-born U.S. citizen plead guilty and was sentenced to 7.5 years for attempting to send money to a terrorist with links to Al-Qaeda.

Khan was also caught on several phone recordings, talking about planting bombs at a U.S. stadium.

After he was released from prison, Khan applied to be a Lyft driver. And somehow, the company's background check didn't pick up his conviction.

"They should check my background before they give me the job," says Khan. "That's their problem, not my problem. I don't want to go on welfare. I'm a hard worker. I want to earn my money and feed my family."

Khan was only fired by Lyft after our sister station, WGN in Chicago, alerted them of his past.

Only then was he pulled from the company, and Lyft received more than $2 million in fines.

Khan will spend the rest of his life on supervised parole, which is standard practice for all terror convicts.

Lyft issued a statement about the "mistake," saying:

The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority. We immediately deactivated the driver in question when we became aware of this situation. Our independent background check provider should not have approved the driver, and this is unacceptable. We believe this is an isolated incident, and are re-running background checks for Chicago drivers. We will also voluntarily allow the City of Chicago to audit our background checks on an ongoing basis at Lyft’s expense. We are working closely with City officials.

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