Tax trouble for taxi tycoon?
NEW YORK (WABC) -- He is one of the wealthiest businessmen in New York City. Taxi Tycoon Evgeny Friedman operates a fleet of taxis numbering nearly 900 in the city. He owns more taxi medallions than just about anyone.
When it comes to taxis in New York City, Gene Friedman is the King of Cabs.
One taxi medallion is worth a million dollars. Most are controlled by his companies 28th Street Management in Manhattan, Downtown Taxi Management in Brooklyn and Tunnel Taxi Management in Queens.
The problem is this Taxi Tycoon's businesses are, according to the state, among the top tax delinquents.
"These are your companies, right?" asked Eyewitness News Investigative reporter Jim Hoffer.
"They are my companies, yeah," Freidman said.
And those companies, according to the state tax department, owe more than $3 million combined in back taxi-related taxes, something Freidman strongly denies.
"How much do you owe in back taxes?" Hoffer asked.
"I don't owe anything in back taxes," Freidman said.
"You don't owe anything in back taxes?" Hoffer asked.
"I don't think so," Freidman said.
"Why would the state have you on the list as one of the worst business tax delinquents?" Hoffer asked.
"The state does not have me on the list," Freidman said.
Three of Freidman's businesses are on the list, which would have gone unnoticed if not for a tip Eyewitness News got weeks ago about garbage bags filled with tax warrants discarded next to Freidman's cab company.
Hundreds of warrants addressed to his businesses were tossed out on the curb, yet the taxi mogul insists he owes nothing.
"You're a wealthy man, why don't you pay your taxes? Why don't you pay what the state says you owe," Hoffer asked.
"If you showed me, I'll pay tomorrow," Freidman said.
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investigations, jim hoffer
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