Is Your Favorite Food Cart Legit?

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The licensed operator of your favorite food cart might be dead. A two-year city investigation estimated that at least 500 vendor licenses are fakes — either registered to dead people or held by those who are no longer in the business. Vendor advocates say that market conditions encourage fraud, because only a dozen or so permits a year are legally available through the Department of Health. Once you have a permit, you can renew it indefinitely by mail. The city arrested six people this morning on charges related to submitting false documents and putting valid permits on illegal carts.

Six Arrested in Probe of City’s Food Vendors [Diner’s Journal/NYT]