Mayor de Blasio orders probe of taxi medallion brokers

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New York City taxis (AP file)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a joint investigation into predatory practices by taxi medallion brokers.

The mayor said 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 said, "it's unacceptable to prey on hardworking New Yorkers trying to support their families."

Monday's announcement came 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."

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DE BLASIO'S FULL STATEMENT:

"Today I ordered a joint investigation by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Department of Finance and Department of Consumer Affairs into predatory practices by brokers in the taxi industry. The 45-day review will identify and penalize brokers who have taken advantage of buyers and misled City authorities. The review will set down strict new rules that prevent broker practices that hurt drivers. It's unacceptable to prey on hardworking New Yorkers trying to support their families and we'll do all that we can to put an end to it."