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Old 04-17-2017, 06:55 AM
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Default Illegal (CHINESE) street vendor sues partner over exploitative pricing scheme

http://nypost.com/2017/04/17/illegal...ricing-scheme/

Illegal street vendor sues partner over exploitative pricing scheme
By Lia Eustachewich
April 17, 2017 | 6:07am

A street-vendor wannabe illegally rented a food cart and then balked when its owner put the squeeze on him by more than doubling the fee.

So he sued her — even though their deal was illegal and he was dropping the dime on both of them.

Yong Li Liu first started leasing the cart from Yu Jiao Wu — who owned its coveted city permit — under the shady agreement in 2012, according to legal papers with the city Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.

The pair agreed that Liu would get “long-term right of use” of the permit, which Wu obtained in 1998, for a total of $8,000 for the next two years, with the right to renew it every two years, the documents state.

Under the city’s administrative code, it’s illegal to sell or transfer the permits.

Then Wu started demanding more money from Liu, charging him $10,000 in 2014 for the next two years, the papers state.

Liu paid the fee, but last year Wu then hiked it up to $25,000 for the next two years, the documents say.

Liu testified at an OATH trial last month that when he finally put his foot down and refused to pay, she sold the permit to someone else.

Last year, the fed-up food peddler sued Wu — even though he was participating in the illegal scheme, too — claiming she breached their contract by refusing to renew the permit at the agreed-upon price.

In court papers, Wu denied that she “willfully” or “knowingly” entered into an unenforceable contract with him, although she did admit that transfer of the permit was illegal.

Administrative Law Judge Susan Pogoda called for Wu to be stripped of both her food-cart permit and vendor’s license, according to the court’s April 10 decision.

The city Health Department is reviewing whether to enforce that recommendation, officials said.

Pogoda said Wu’s “dishonesty in transferring her permit illegally and obtaining a profit for leasing her permit was in clear violation” of city law and her no-show during the trial “reflects a willful disobedience to the [Health] Department rules.”

It’s unclear what consequences may befall Liu, who also has filed a civil suit against Wu.

The Heath Department charges $200 for food-vendor permits, which have been capped at a total of 5,100. A waiting list for them dates back to 2008 and is roughly 2,500 people long.

That has prompted a lucrative black market to pop up, where it’s common for permit-seekers like Liu to pay as much as $25,000 for one.

Sean Basinski, the director of advocacy group Street Vendor Project, estimated that 80 percent to 90 percent of food-vendor licenses currently in operation were obtained illegally.

Liu did not have a listed address, and the person answering the door at an address for a Yu Jiao Wu in Brooklyn did not speak English.
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