Rocky Road: New York Officials Seize 40 Ice Cream Trucks In Ticket-Avoidance Scheme

If you were in New York yesterday, you would have seen more than 40 ice-cream trucks being towed away. It was a crackdown on New York Ice Cream which allegedly has been running a scheme to avoid millions in tickets. The culprit was ice cream mogul Dimitrios Tsirkos, founder of New York Ice Cream. Long Island officials say that Tsirkos has been racking of millions in tickets and then creating new companies to avoid payment.

Each of 46 trucks seized had over $10,000 in unpaid tickets — part of a total of $4.5 million owed by the company. Tsirkos has a total of 76 delinquent treat-mobiles tickets for such violations as speeding, running red lights and illegally using bus lanes.

Also named were Athanasios Fotinakopoulos, Hele “Eleni” Fotinakopoulos, Tommy Dalageorgos, Michael A. Vasiadis and Antonio Tsatsaros who allegedly played roles in creating as many as 100 phony companies.

I am a little curious why, if the trucks are owned by the same people, the police did not seize all 76 trucks given the millions owed to the city. There is certainly no sympathy warranted for these individuals, though the drivers are victims in this instance.

This is a civil lawsuit but I am confused why Tsirkos is not facing a multi-count criminal case. If you can get away with such a premeditated and organized fraud, there is little deterrent for other companies.

Tsirkos previously was sued after he broke from his franchise with Mister Softee and then recreated “Master Softee” with the same type of branding. He was forced into a settlement.

He then turned around to create his New York Ice Cream business and allegedly ran it through fraudulent sham companies. What is truly insidious is that the city alleges that the company told drivers that it was paying the tickets and garnished their wages. So it was allegedly pocketing the ticket fines while evading payment with the city.

If true, the failure to criminally charge Tsirkos would be an insult to every law-bidding and honest business in Long Island.

18 thoughts on “Rocky Road: New York Officials Seize 40 Ice Cream Trucks In Ticket-Avoidance Scheme”

  1. “This is a civil lawsuit but I am confused why Tsirkos is not facing a multi-count criminal case. If you can get away with such a premeditated and organized fraud, there is little deterrent for other companies.”

    Precisely.

    And yet, there the management of New York Ice Cream sit, in civil court when at least newspaper accounts give evidence of criminal fraud.

    There aren’t that many plausible alternative explanations.

  2. First, seizing ice cream trucks is like impounding Santa’s Sleigh.

    Second, inadequate parking is a problem in city planning. At some point, when there are zero options to park legally, it becomes impossible to comply with the law. Then, tickets become a shakedown racket.

    That is why there are companies who refuse to do business in big cities. There is no parking for work trucks and they just rack up tickets.

    1. That said, the owner is on the hook for the tickets and fines.

      My husband once asked the ticketing officer if she could direct him to any legal parking for his truck within a 5 mile radius. She admitted there was nothing. There is now way to comply with the law in some cities.

      That poor planning forces law abiding citizens to break the law, albeit minor parking violations.

      These inescapable tickets raise the cost of all goods and services that incur them in transport.

    2. I agree that parking is a problem but there’s more here than parking. ” Tsirkos has a total of 76 delinquent treat-mobiles tickets for such violations as speeding, running red lights and illegally using bus lanes.”

      1. I agree that in this case, there was more going on.

        As for racking up the parking violations and creating shell companies, it’s an example of how they might have a reason to be upset, but what they did about it is wrong.

        If the drivers of ice cream trucks, mobile kid attractants, are getting a significant number of moving violations, then it needs to be investigated as a public safety issue.

  3. ‘Long Island officials say that Tsirkos has been racking of millions in
    tickets and then creating new companies to avoid payment.’

    From his FB page:
    LIKES:
    Dionysos Restaurant, Patriots for Donald Trump, Red Blue Divide, TULSA TRUMP PENCE 2020, The Hellenic Initiative, Georgia Zara, Everyday Conservative, Coverage of the Trump Presidency by The Epoch Times, America First Senate, American Joe, T Trump Train News, Vito Glazers, District 36 Republicans, The Silent Majority, Making America 1st, Conservative Majority Fund, Conservative Tradition, I Love Greece, PRRI, We Are TRUMP Nation, Start Draining America, Conservatives United, FutureinAmerica, Fighting For Trump, Conservative Alerts by WJ, God Family Country, , United States Constitution, Greek Reporter, Greek City Times, Conservative Institute, Liberty Upheld, Vice President News by WJ, , American Greatness, Yes I’m Right, Christian News Alerts, Don’t Tread On Me, Truth And Action, DC Statesman, Conservatives That Love America, I Love America

    1. OK so he’s a Trumper but that doesn’t mean he isn’t greasing Democrats

      or maybe he failed to grease them, which is why he’s in trouble. LOL

      whatever we speculate, it seems he has been a very naughty boy!

  4. Doesn’t the driver of the vehicle get the ticket for moving violations like speeding and running red lights? I wonder who Tsirkos contributes to politically?

    1. Parking tickets are left on the windshield, going to the vehicle owner. Moving violations count against the driver.

  5. These guys should be put under a microscope. If this is their business practice, then it’s likely they’re also evading taxes, health and safety regs, vehicle inspections and so forth.

  6. Diversity is our strength!

    You have to ask what kind of recruitment procedures the company has and what kind of work rules their deliverymen are facing that they accumulate $10,000 worth of traffic and parking tickets. In our house, we haven’t had a parking ticket in > 10 years and have had maybe 3 moving violations since 1995.

    1. Cause there are no home grown crooks, what hole did you crawl from and when will you crawl back into it.

  7. In NYC one can see the FedEx employee taking things out of the truck in the back to deliver to a client while at the front the police officer is writing a ticket. According to the drivers this happens all day long in Manhattan.

  8. I’m all for going after corporations that set up sham corporations and declare bankruptcy to avoid liabilities. The “ice cream mogul” should be charged! Now let’s move on the bigger fish.

  9. I normally would not side with New York on anything but in this case, bravo. Too many shady characters change company names to avoid things like fines and warranty to the consumer.
    Score one for the good guys.

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