Shell corporations, millions in fines, and a sting operation in New york city City. It’s not a noir movie; it’s a crackdown on ice cream trucks.

The city began taking 46 ice cream trucks Wednesday in “Operation Meltdown” after operators violated traffic laws and after that evaded fines for almost a years, Mayor Expense de Blasio stated in a news release.

As the operators were handing out popsicles from 2009 to 2017 they also were racking up 22,000 summonses and nearly $4.5 million in fines for traffic violations, the city stated. The operators had actually been cited for running traffic signals, parking near fire hydrants and obstructing cross walks, among other things, the news release stated.
” All of us understand from typical experience that ice cream trucks are magnets for children,” said Zachary W. Carter, the city’s corporation counsel. “In order to safeguard this especially vulnerable category of pedestrians, our traffic laws need to be strictly imposed.”

To get away with not paying fines, the release stated, the operators created lots of “shell” companies and methodically re-registered trucks at the Department of Motor Vehicles under the names of various corporations. By the time the city’s financing department would attempt to collect on a debt, there would be no trace of the offending business, according to the press release.
The city has filed a claim versus transgressors who owe more than $10,000 in judgments or overdue fines, the release stated.

“No New Yorker is above the law– particularly those who attempt to ignore public security laws and create hazardous situations for motorists, bicycle riders and pedestrians,” de Blasio said in a statement.