New York, .- The Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, and the mayor of the Big Apple, Bill de Blasio, ordered on Monday the opening of investigations into “predatory practices” and alleged scams for irregular financing to taxi drivers for the purchase of licenses at exorbitant prices.
The New York attorney general’s office said in the first place that it had opened an investigation into more than a decade of lending practices that left thousands of immigrant taxi drivers ruined by debt, while Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered an investigation into separated from the brokers who helped organize the loans.
These investigations come after The New York Times published an investigation that reveals that a handful of taxi industry leaders artificially inflated the price of the so-called medallion, the coveted permit that allows a driver to own and operate a taxi, and billed hundreds of millions of dollars at the cost of the issuance of reckless loans to low-income buyers.
The investigation also found that regulators at all levels of local government ignored the warning signs, and the city even fueled an inordinate sale of medallions by promoting them in ads as something that was “better than the stock market.”
Mayor De Blasio, just beginning his career in the Democratic primary, reacted quickly and issued a statement saying: “Today I ordered a joint investigation by the Taxis and Limousines Commission, the Department of Finance and the Department of Consumer Affairs about the predatory practices of the brokers in the taxi industry “.
“A 45-day review will identify and penalize brokers who have taken advantage of buyers and tricked city authorities, and will establish new strict rules that prevent broker practices that harm drivers,” De Blasio added.
For the mayor, “it is unacceptable to take advantage of New Yorkers who work hard to support their families and we will do everything possible to put an end to it.”
The New York Times information has caused commotion among Democratic leaders of the State Assembly, the city of New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo, many of them critical of De Blasio, who just a few days ago announced that he was opting for the presidential race. (EFE)