Thursday, February 17, 2011

Life Imitating Seinfeld - Recycling Scam

Apart from ketchup and mustard in the same bottle, the best idea to ever come out of ‘Seinfeld’ was Kramer and Newman’s Inter-State Bottle Redemption Plan to run bottles and cans to Michigan to capitalize on their generous 10-cent refund policy. Except maybe the idea isn’t so great after all, since it didn’t end up working for them (mainly due to stumbling upon Jerry’s stolen car, but still) or for three real-life individuals now facing criminal charges for a similar scam in the state of Maine. They must have blown all their margins on gasoline.

A couple that runs a Maine redemption center and a Massachusetts man were indicted this week for allegedly redeeming beverage containers in Maine that were bought in other states.

Thomas and Megan Woodard, who run Green Bee Redemption in Kittery, face the more serious charge of allegedly passing off more than 100,000 out-of-state containers – with a value of more than $10,000 – as if they had been purchased in Maine.

Apparently can refund scams are a serious issue in some places, as approximately 90 million out-of-state bottles are said to be redeemed illegally in Maine every year.

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