Skip to comments.Michigan Officials Bust Bottle-Deposit Fraud Ring (straight out of a "Seinfeld")
Posted on 09/28/2007 11:58:39 AM PDT by nuconvert
Michigan Officials Bust Bottle-Deposit Fraud Ring
DETROIT They did what Kramer and Newman of "Seinfeld" could not.
Thirteen people have been arrested in connection with a smuggling ring that collected millions of beverage containers in other states and cashed them in for 10 cents apiece in Michigan as part of a scam straight out of a "Seinfeld" episode, authorities said Wednesday.
Authorities seized more than $500,000 in cash and 15 people were named in a 67-count warrant issued as part of Operation Can Scam, Attorney General Mike Cox said Wednesday. Some suspects were members of two smuggling rings based in Ohio and others were Michigan merchants who took part in the scheme, he said.
The probe recalled a 1996 episode of "Seinfeld" in which two characters learn about Michigan's 10-cent deposit law and head there with a truckload of 5-cent New York cans, hoping to cash in on the difference, before getting sidetracked.
"A half-million in cash is not 'Seinfeld' humor," Cox spokesman Matt Frendewey said.
Investigators alleged that millions of non-redeemable out-of-state cans were collected, crushed, packaged in plastic bags and sold at a discount to merchants who then redeemed them. Bulk redemption payments from the state are based on weight.
The scheme defrauded the Michigan Bottle Deposit Fund, whose proceeds are used to pay for environmental cleanup efforts, Cox said in a statement.
"Each year, this type of activity defrauds the state approximately $13 million," said Col. Peter Munoz,
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Wow, the citizens of Michigan can now rest easier knowing that the can spammers have been put away. No wonder Michigan is swirling around in the toilet.
If they’re paying for them in the first place... Ya know, never mind, it’s government we’re talking about.
There is not difference between the barcode on Michigan deposit cans and cans from non deposit states. At Michigan grocery stores, you will find automated deposit refund machines that simply scan your can's barcode, count it, then crush it.
The machines have no way of telling a legitimate Michigan deposit can from a no-deposit can.
That’s gold Jerry! GOLD!
Maybe michigan will learn their lesson and raise the deposit to $.20 to cover all the fraud.
Why is this fraud? If Michigan is so STUPID as to pay above market prices for bulk aluminium, then naurally they will attrack it from all over. Did Michigan not receive not cans that might pollute if they are not recycled?
The whole deposit scheme is a fraud. They take the money up front when you buy the containers, and when you redeem them you never get the deposit amount.
And, the whole scam is based on the hopes that most of the bottles and cans aren’t returned, so they keep those deposits.
Thanks for the tip. I live on the Inidana/Michigan border. ;)
Not that there’s anything wrong with it.
“Maybe michigan will learn their lesson and raise the deposit to $.20 to cover all the fraud.”
LOL. That’s probably exactly what they will do!
We should all just ignore the fact that the state of Michigan counts on 13m a year for environmental cleanup...funds that they collect from those who purchase cans and bottles and funds that COULD likely be returned to those who pay the fee.
In other words, if people collected the money owed them, the state would not have the funds for cleanup. Just like using a cigarette tax to pay for healthcare, the government needs people to smoke, to pay the tax, to pay for healthcare. But here, they need the people to pay a deposit on cans and bottles and then throw those bottles out the window of their car, so that the state can hire someone to go around and pick up those bottles and cans.
Is this real?? It’s illegal to recycle a frigging aluminum can in MI if you bought it in another state??
MI must have a really, really low crime rate if the cops can waste their time on crap like this.
Wait, isn’t Detroit in MI?
My next door neighbor used to drink a case of Michelob a day bought in RI with no deposit and redeemed in CT or MA for the nickles.
Said he got about 30 free cases of beer a year doing it.
HaHa, Some of us Hoosiers are kinda slow...
However, when you think about it, when they started the bottle return law in 1976, the deposit was $.10. Here it is 31 years later, and it's still a dime.
How is this “smuggling?” Aren’t the cans redeemable in Michigan? If I bought a can of pop in Wisconsin and (for some infathomable reason) drove across the border into Michigan, would I be smuggling if I tried to redeem my empty can? Is there a specific law that prohibits this endeavor?
The State of Michigan is just this close to being under full Sharia law and they worry about THIS?
Sheesh...strain at a gnat, swallow Achmed’s camel....