A New York City taxi tycoon has been charged with failing to pay millions in state taxes.
Evgeny Freidman, 46, was being held Wednesday in the Albany County Jail on $500,000 bail. Also known as Gene Friedman, he was arraigned in an Albany court Monday on tax fraud and grand larceny charges.
Defense lawyer Patrick Egan says Friedman denies all the charges.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the 46-year-old dubbed the "Taxi King" didn't pay more than $5 million in taxes he owed. Officials say the taxes are from 50-cent Metropolitan Transportation Authority surcharges between 2012 and 2015.
“The ‘Taxi King’ built his empire by stealing from New Yorkers – pocketing money that should have instead been invested in our transportation system,” said Schneiderman. “No one is above the law, and my office will use every tool available to hold accountable those who cheat the system.”
Separately, the Attorney General’s Labor Bureau investigated Freidman’s failure to properly pay drivers, which resulted in a $1.2 million settlement and a 2016 consent order requiring Freidman and four of his taxi medallion management agencies to pay over $275,000 in damages and fines and to hire an independent monitor to examine compliance with TLC rules.
Friedman owns hundreds of the New York City-issued medallions that allow yellow cabs to operate.