From the NY Post:
A courageous cabby has blown the whistle on a Queens taxi-garage owner who repeatedly overcharged drivers for leasing their cars, according to a new class-action lawsuit.
Since 2008, Samir Talbi and 124 other drivers say that Mike Mellis, who operates Boulevard Taxi Leasing in Long Island City, forced them to rent a cab for the entire week -- while still paying the rates for individual days, according to court documents.
So instead of charging the drivers the weekly lease rate of $666, which is the Taxi and Limousine Commission mandated maximum, the garage would simply add up the TLC-approved individual day rates: $115 for Sunday, $120 on Monday and Tuesday, $120 for Wednesday, and $129 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the suit says.
That's $852 a week.
But it didn't stop there, the Queens Supreme Court suit claims. The garage also tacked on fees for each day, bringing the total to $894 a week.
Steve Gounaris, a principal at the garage, said the hiked-up fees account for "state sales tax" -- even though the TLC rules say no owner "may charge or accept from a driver any payment of any kind, such as a tax."