A.G. Schneiderman Obtains Consent Order Requiring Evgeny Freidman’s Taxi Companies To Hire Independent Monitor To Protect Drivers’ Rights

Friedman And His Companies Required To Pay Over $250,000 In Fines, Damages And Restitution

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced his office obtained a consent order resolving a lawsuit against Evgeny “Gene” Freidman, and four taxicab companies owned in part by Freidman, for violating taxi drivers’ rights and for breaching a 2013 settlement agreement with the Attorney General.  Judge Carol Robinson Edmead of New York Supreme Court signed a Consent Order and Judgment agreed to by the parties. The consent order requires Freidman and his companies to pay over $250,000 in fines, damages and restitution.

“No one is above the law and my office will continue to take action to protect the rights of hard-working New Yorkers,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Taxicab drivers play a critical role throughout New York City, and their earnings should not be squeezed by taxi companies which own or manage medallions.”

“Taxicab drivers are among the hardest working New Yorkers, and it is unthinkable that someone would take advantage of them,” said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi.  “But the actions we’re announcing today will send the loudest possible message that we take driver protection extremely seriously, and that if you’re cheating your drivers, we will find out and hold you accountable.”

The 2013 settlement, along with a companion agreement between Freidman and his companies and the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), required Freidman and his companies to pay a total of over $1.2 million in fines and restitution for drivers who were overcharged, and to comply with the law going forward. While Freidman and his companies paid nearly all of the restitution and fines, they breached the settlement and violated TLC rules by, among other things, failing to pay taxi drivers their earned credit card fares in a timely manner and provide proper receipts to drivers. 

The Consent Order signed on Friday requires Freidman and his companies to hire an independent monitor to examine the companies’ compliance with TLC’s rules regarding driver’s rights, including lease fees charged to drivers and timeliness of payments to drivers.  In addition, the settlement calls for $50,000 in damages and a fine, $210,000 to be distributed to approximately 700 drivers as lease credits, and $15,674.46 to be paid to approximately 280 specific drivers as restitution for non-refunded money under the 2013 settlement. 

The Freidman Companies named in the order are 28th Street Management, Inc.; Downtown Taxi Management, LLC; Tunnel Taxi Management, LLC; and Woodside Management Inc. As agents for medallion owners, these companies control over 830 medallions out of more than 13,000 medallions currently in existence in New York City. 

The case is being handled by Special Assistant Attorney General David Ross, Assistant Attorney General Donya Fernandez, and Labor Bureau Chief Terri Gerstein. The Labor Bureau is part of the Social Justice Division, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg.

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