City Readies for Food Cart Crackdown - NBC New York

City Readies for Food Cart Crackdown

Scams also include a cart inspection bait-and-switch

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    City Readies for Food Cart Crackdown
    Line Outside Street Cart on SW Corner of 53rd [Flickr Photo Pool/food_in_mouth

    More than 500 street food vendors are about to lose their permits after undercover investigators found widespread fraud among operating documents.
     
    The City Health Department said it is reviewing "a list of possible illegal permits," the New York Post reported.

    The Department of Investigations revealed last week that some city permits costing no more than $200 were being hawked for up to $15,000, and that six people had been busted, the paper said.

    Health officials became suspicious about three years ago, when workers at the department's Maspeth, Queens, facility began noticing that an unusually high number of carts were being brought in for inspection by the same small group of vendors and middlemen.

    Investigators also discovered that unscrupulous vendors were pulling another scam -- using clean carts as stand-ins for those that couldn't pass inspection, the paper said.

    Hot dog vendors can make between $100 and $200 dollars per day and often have to shell out about $4000 for a two year permit.