“Taxi king” Gene Freidman is now the court jester of the cab industry.
Freidman will no longer be allowed to manage the more than 800 medallions he’s controlled for the past several years, the Taxi and Limousine Commission ruled this week.
“We have notified all the medallions that were in the management of those companies that they would need to be managed by others,” said TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg.
The Russian-born mogul’s licenses expired and the TLC declined to renew them because of his controversial past with the agency. Freidman, who has been in a downward spiral of arrests and lawsuits for the past two years, has angered the drivers and medallions owners by not paying the state and the city millions of dollars in surcharges, leaving them on the hook for the money.
Others in the industry say they are glad the TLC finally took Freidman’s licenses.
“He has given the industry a bad name,” said a taxi medallion agent who’s known Freidman for years. “Mr. Freidman for years has flouted regulations and been allowed to get away with it.”
Late last year, a bankruptcy judge ruled that Freidman had to turn over 46 of the medallions he owned to to pay debtors. He still owns about 150 medallions, sources say.