Lender wants to take hold of Taxi King’s castles

Capital One claims Gene Freidman owes $8.4M on taxi-medallion loans

Gene Freidman and NYC yellow cabs
Gene Freidman and NYC yellow cabs

Banking giant Capital One says Taxi King Gene Freidman hasn’t paid his fare on $8.4 million in defaulted loans.

The bank’s petition to collect the debt, filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court, comes eight months after Madison Realty Capital moved to foreclose on 11 Coney Island properties owned by Freidman.

Freidman made a fortune buying New York City taxi medallions and renting them out to drivers, and funneled much of his money into real estate. Between 2002 and 2012, Freidman bought at least 23 buildings in Brooklyn and Queens. His empire crumbled when the rise of ride-hailing apps sent the value of taxi medallions (whose supply is artificially limited by the city) on a tailspin.

In 2014, Freidman defaulted on several Capital One loans, which he had taken out to buy taxi medallions since 2011. Last July, Capital One won a court judgment ordering Freidman to pay back $8.4 million in outstanding loans, which the bank says remains unpaid.

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Capital One wants Freidman’s properties to be handed over to a “designated sheriff” until the outstanding loan balance and Capital One’s legal costs are paid off.

In November, The Real Deal reported that Freidman had also been tussling with Citibank over $34 million in unpaid taxi-medallion loans. The bank also sued him, and accused him of transferring real estate properties to different entities to keep them from his lender’s grasp. In January, Citibank won a court order blocking the transfers.

A spokesperson for Capital One did not immediately respond to a request for comment.