5 Food Vendors Rack Up Nearly $1M in Fines

They scoff that the city never comes to collect.

Monday, Nov 14, 2011  |  Updated 7:44 AM EDT
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5 Food Vendors Rack Up Nearly $1M in Fines

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Five food vendors who work in Midtown have accumulated nearly $1 million in fines in the past year, according to a published report.

The New York Post said Monday that vendors on 54th Street and Fifth Avenue account for nearly one-tenth of the $10.45 million in violations issued throughout the city.

The top five -- who sell hot dogs and lamb kebobs -- owe $891,796. The violations include setting up too close to the curb or improper food storage.

Authorities "can't even keep track of how many tickets they give out," vendor Hamada Rashad Mohammed told the Post. He has 177 violations worth $176,689.

“If I get one after a period of tickets, then, OK, I will pay it," he said. "But 30 tickets in two days just for standing here doing my job? No way, that’s a scam."

Another vendor who works nearby but is not on the top-five list told the Post he gets "crosswalk violations, fire violations, fire-hydrant violations, noise violations.”

“Nobody ever comes to collect. It’s a big joke. We all know it," said Hussain Ishmayil.

The city has only collected on 394 of the 13,775 tickets issued in the past 12 months, the Post said, for a total of $121,253.

Officials can take a vendor's license if he doesn't pay his fines, but they often just apply for new licenses under different names.

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