close up of taxi medallion Source: Shutterstock.

Shares of Medallion Financial Corp. plunged Wednesday after U.S. regulators accused the New York-based lender to taxi drivers of seeking to illegally boost its stock price amid intense competition from Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc.

The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that after a string of banner years, Medallion floundered as the popularity of ride-sharing apps caused the value of taxi medallions, which were used as collateral for loans, to plummet. As the company’s stock started slumping in 2014, it tried to drown out short-sellers by flooding media websites with bogus news articles, the SEC said in a complaint filed in federal court.

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