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Thirty-nine Indicted In Bribery Probe Of D.C. Taxi Industry

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WASHINGTON (AP) Thirty-nine people connected with the Washington taxicab industry have been indicted on bribery charges.

An indictment unsealed Friday charges Yitbarek Syume, 51, of Silver Spring, Md.; Berhane Leghese, 47, of Arlington, Va.; and Amanuel Ghirmazion, 53, of Hyattsville, Md. of paying bribes totaling $220,0000 to the chairperson of the D.C. Taxicab Commission to obtain licenses for multi-vehicle cab companies.

Syume and another 36 people were charged in a separate indictment with paying bribes totaling $110,000 to get individual cab licenses. Federal authorities say the indictments came after a two-year investigation.

Last week, Ted G. Loza, the chief of staff for D.C. Council Member Jim Graham, was arrested on charges that he promoted taxicab legislation in exchange for cash.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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