The Taxi Driver

Military sales to Latin American dictators, CIA contacts, and the strange odyssey of OC cabby Richard Schorling

They ignored him. Today, Schorling and Overby have exclusive taxi access to John Wayne Airport. And Schorling is, once again, scrambling for money.

"I see no way that we will be able to pay Pickens [Fuel Corp.] in full for the outstanding invoices, even at the reduced pricing that we discussed on Friday," wrote Schorling to his company's natural-gas fuel provider on June 5, 2000, trying to explain why American Taxi was again unable to pay its fuel bills. "If you spent any time at all looking at the cash flow that I left with you on Friday, you are easily able to tell that once we are through the next 90 days, we will be okay."

That was eight months ago. Today, American Taxi is still in financial trouble. Schorling says he invested heavily to get a piece of the lucrative Los Angeles taxi franchise, but in October, the selection committee was thoroughly unimpressed with American Taxi's lack of experience and stability and gave the company nothing. American Taxi's lawsuit against Pickens Fuel is still pending.

"I can't do anything to get my money back," says Probert today. "But I personally hate the man."

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