Convicted taxi-fleet owner gets 18 months in a Boston halfway house

Edward Tutunjian was sentenced today to 20 months of probation - 18 of which he has to spend in Coolidge House in Boston, for payroll tax evasion, employing illegal aliens and for failing to pay overtime wages, the US Attorney's office reports.

He also has to pay at least $29,000 a year for his lodgings.

Tutunjian pleaded guilty in August to the charges related to his operation of Boston's largest taxi fleet.

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Counteroffer

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He should spend 18 months in one of his cabs sitting in the Logan taxi waiting lot.

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This is beyond the pale.

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This is beyond the pale. Anyone without $$$ would've gotten prison time. I really hoped the fact he was outed by the Globe as a sleazy, POS owner a few years ago would've ensured at least a year behind bars. Another home run for rich @$$holes instead.

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He should be doing hard time

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He got off easy. He'll be out hustling, and screwing people over, again, again, and again, until he becomes mentally incapacitated or dies.

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I'm a softy

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He is an evil sleaze, make no mistake about that. However, he's already paid restitution of $2.3 million, he's an old man with diabetes, they are making him pay $29k to live in the half-way house, and finally medallions have plunged in value and can be had for as little as $130,000 [source: Globe.] I don't see the benefit to society of his going to real jail where I have to pay to feed him and pick up his medical bills.

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I'm OK with it

I don't subscribe to the "if you're a crook long enough you get a pass" school of thought. Let him die destitute with the same sort of minimal heath care is given to the homeless. He robbed a lot of people in his life and the fact he got away with it long enough to start worrying about diabetes shouldn't factor into it.

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Uber

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Yeah, but remember Uber is terrible and you should be very sad for using them. The worst!

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Many Crooks

The Uber billionaire isn't much better, just more successful. I'd just as well not give my money to either of them if I can avoid it.

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Tutunjian and EJT

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By 2014, Tutunjian and EJT owned approximately 372 taxi medallions.
If there is karma in this world, I hope the sucess of Uber and Lyft devalue the taxi medallions
he owns down to nothing!

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Sadly

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If it could only be him. It hits the little guys too which is the problem.

As for jail, I don't disagree this seems to be a deal for the rich. That said, for these kinds of crimes, not sure prison does any good. There has to be a better solution for punishment than prison for Tutunjian and millions of other non-violent offenders.

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Given that taxi medallions

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Given that taxi medallions are held under license from the city, wouldn't there be a moral turpitude clause in the license agreement that reverts ownership of the medallion to the city in the event they are used in commission of a crime? (Or am I perhaps hoping for too much?)

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Yes and no

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I believe such a rule exists - HOWEVER, he transferred ownership to his wife and daughter (I think) right before he was indicted. So technically they own them. I think the "clawback" provisions are very complicated - and not sure the city wants to pursue that - expensive and they could lose. Medallions, though licenses, have apparently been ruled to be personal property posing many gray areas in the law.

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What a Dumbass

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With all those medallions he could have run his fleet legally and lived a very comfortable life.

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Not dumb at all

He did live a "comfortable life". According to prosecutors his net worth is around $33M, much of it outside the taxi business. But he was also a hard-nosed SOB who couldn't get away from the methods that got him there: generous to his friends, ruthlessly exploitative to his drivers.

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