The manager of New York City’s largest taxi fleet and four of his companies were sued by the state attorney general who claims Evgeny Freidman violated a settlement that resolved earlier allegations he cheated drivers.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday that Freidman and his companies failed to show drivers had been fully reimbursed for illegal health-care charges or that the companies had properly complied with monitoring. In the earlier allegations, settled in 2013, Freidman was accused of overcharging cab drivers for daily and weekly leases and imposing other illegal fees.
One of the companies sued Thursday, Woodside Management Inc., committed new violations with late payments for credit card charges, “putting drivers in serious financial distress,” Schneiderman said in a statement. Woodside also tried to hide its conduct by creating fake receipts, Schneiderman said.
“The conduct alleged in today’s lawsuit demonstrates a basic disregard for the struggles and rights of hard-working taxi cab drivers,” Schneiderman said.
The state’s complaint couldn’t immediately be verified in Manhattan state court records.
The allegations are “inaccurate,” Ronn Torossian, a spokesman for Freidman, said in an e-mailed statement. Freidman “will continue to work closely with the AG to resolve any perceived issues,” Torossian said.
Freidman controls about 860 medallions, which are required to operate taxi cabs and are notoriously expensive in New York. One sold at auction for almost $1 million in 2014, according to the New York Post.
Under the earlier agreement, Freidman was required to pay almost $750,000 in restitution to drivers and $500,000 in fines to the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, Schneiderman said.
The case is People of the State v. Freidman, Supreme Court of New York (Manhattan).