Vendor Hamada Mohammed refers to most of his 177 outstanding violations as “a scam” by the city. [photo: NY Post
From the NY Post: Five vendors operating on 54th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan have racked up close to $1 million in outstanding fines in the past 12 months.  That’s nearly a tenth of the total $10.45 million in outstanding violations issued citywide in the past year.

Fines for infractions such as setting up too close to the curb or improper food storage can cost as much as $1,000 a pop. Overall, the city is still owed $20.9 million in outstanding street-vendor fines that have been issued since 2003.

The high dollar amounts and sheer number of violations prompt some vendors to just blow them off.

“I get crosswalk violations, fire violations, fire-hydrant violations, noise violations — you name it, I got it,” said vendor Hussain Ishmayil, who operates on the same block but hasn’t yet been ticketed enough to land on the top-five list.

“I can get 10 tickets a day, and that’s about average,” he said.

“[But] the cops can give me all the tickets they want,’’ Ishmayil said. “Nobody ever comes to collect. It’s a big joke. We all know it.  I pay a few tickets like the ones that involve my license, but a lot of the others I toss on sight.”

Of the 13,775 tickets shelled out in the past 12 months, the city has collected on only 394, for a paltry total of just $121,253. The city had collected $1 million from 2,980 violations paid between October 2010 and October 2011 — but the majority of those had actually been doled out earlier. The city can yank a vendor’s license if he fails to pay his fines. But it can get tricky: Scofflaws have been known to switch their identities if they rack up huge bills and lose their licenses, only to reapply for new licenses under different names.

For the complete article, click the following link. [NY Post]