NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio orders probe into taxi medallion brokers

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a joint investigation into predatory practices by taxi medallion brokers.

The mayor says the 45-day review by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Department of Finance and Department of Consumer Affairs "will identify and penalize brokers who have taken advantage of buyers and misled city authorities."

The Democratic presidential hopeful says "it's unacceptable to prey on hardworking New Yorkers trying to support their families." He added that the review will set new rules to prevent broker practices that hurt drivers.

Monday's announcement comes after The New York Times published a report on the financial struggles of medallion owners who were enticed into reckless loans just before the market collapsed.

The report found that "a handful of powerful industry leaders artificially drove up the prices of taxi medallions, creating a bubble that eventually burst."

State Attorney General Letitia James is also looking into the situation.

A spokesperson for James released the following statement:

"Our office is beginning an inquiry into the disturbing reports regarding the lending and business practices that may have created the taxi medallion crisis. These allegations are serious and must be thoroughly scrutinized."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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