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Old 09-27-2007, 12:42 PM   #1
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Seinfeld's 'Can Scam'

This is one of my favourite episodes of Seinfeld and, ironically, I saw it on TV just last night.



http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/14214576/detail.html

Quote:
13 Arrested In Connection With Can Scam

Authorities: Smuggling Rings Defrauded Mich. Bottle Deposit Fund

DETROIT -- Authorities said they arrested 13 people and seized more than $500,000 in cash after breaking up a smuggling ring that collected millions of beverage containers in other states and cashed them in for 10 cents apiece in Michigan.

A total of 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.

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, Michigan State Police director.

The charges include maintaining a continuing criminal enterprise, a 20-year felony, and fraud, a 5-year felony, the statement 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.

Copyright 2007 by ClickOnDetroit.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:59 PM   #2
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I saw that on the news last night and said, "Kramer and Newman are in trouble!"
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:10 PM   #3
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Good one.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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This is great!
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:17 PM   #5
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That episode was the first time I found out people got paid to recycle in other states.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:20 PM   #6
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Half a mil? Wowza! I'm guilty of this as well. We stock up on pop (or soda, whatever you call it) when we go to Chicago b/c there's no deposit and it's still cheaper than here without a deposit factoring in. I recycle everything that's recyclable so naturally those cans get tossed into my can box with the Michigan ones. I was told the machines are supposed to be smart enough to reject them, but that hasn't happened.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by phillyfan26
That episode was the first time I found out people got paid to recycle in other states.
You don't get paid unless you are using cans from states with no deposits. If I buy a 12 pack and it's $4.99 I actually pay $6.19. If I return all the cans I get $1.20 back. In GR, recycle bins for the curb are free but in Kentwood (suburb nearly encircled by the city) you have to pay to recycle.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:24 PM   #8
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Oh, I see. I was going to say it wouldn't have made much sense. That does.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:20 AM   #9
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So someone tried to pull off the old Michigan bottle deposit scam again, huh?
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by phillyfan26
Oh, I see. I was going to say it wouldn't have made much sense. That does.
Although, when you go to the store with three carts full of cans, you certainly DO feel like it's payday!
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:40 PM   #11
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Paydays

This thread is reminding me I have bottles to take in.
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:58 PM   #12
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I gotta take mine in tomorrow. The bag is full!
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:23 PM   #13
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Bag? My basement is full, lol. The cats are having a little too much fun in the can pile...
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Old 09-30-2007, 11:48 PM   #14
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They arrested people for going through all that effort? Isn't that mean? What's illegitimate about giving the cans back in a different state? Does that mean people who on a road trip or travelling from one state to another can be arrested for trying to hand in their cans for a little money?

Ridiculous.
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:33 AM   #15
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Oi I'm ebarassed to say I used to live in that State haha. Michigan could save themselves the trouble by making it five cents like every other state, or printing individual cans/bottles like some states without deposits do.

But this is a hilarious real life Seinfeld situation.
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