Fraud: Buyer Beware when purchasing Hot Dog Carts

hot dog cart fraudFraud happens. It’s unfortunate, but true. There are many cases of fraud related to the hot dog business every year. Here is one of the more egregious cases of hot dog cart fraud I have seen. It’s a few years old, but it serves as a warning so you don’t get victimized by fraud.


This story about fraud appeared in December, 2010:

An Orange County company that says it sells hot-dog vending carts is under investigation after consumers have reported that they paid for the carts online but never received them.

The Better Business Bureau in Central Virginia said Tuesday it has received more than a dozen complaints of fraud  since August 2009 from around the country about a company that purports to operate from Barboursville under two names: Virginia Hot Dog Cart Company and New World Hot Dog Cart Company. The BBB says two individuals’ names have been associated with the business: Carlos Rios and Carl Reading.

BBB chief executive Tom Gallagher says the carts were advertised on eBay for $1,500 and $4,300 but were never delivered.

Gallagher says his group plans to contact federal and county authorities.

Here’s the follow-up story in March, 2011:

The Lake Monticello man accused of selling high-end hot dog carts online, taking the money and then not delivering the goods has been indicted for fraud.

Carlos Rios has been charged with five counts of fraud. The indictments went before a grand jury February 7 and they found probable cause in the case.

More than a dozen people nationwide filed complaints in December with the Better Business Bureau, claiming that Rios’ Orange County-based New World Hot Dog Cart Company scammed them.

The carts, which were advertised on eBay, sell for anywhere between $1,500 and $4,300.

In response, Rios writes, “I was going to make sure everyone I owed a cart got their cart. And they now are. These complaints are over a period of three years are a small percentage of my sales.”

Despite his defense, the BBB found grounds for legal action.

Rios will be in Albemarle County Circuit Court for a hearing March 31. He has been released on an unsecured $5,000 bond.

REMEMBER TO DUE YOUR DUE DILIGENCE WHEN BUYING A HOT DOG CART. Buy local if you can and only deal with reputable companies.

There are many hot dog cart manufacturers in the USA and abroad. If you buy new, make sure the carts are MADE IN THE USA! Some of the so-called “biggest and best” hot dog cart manufacturers dance around the “Made in the USA” claim. Making that claim and using components from China assembled in the USA is a kind of fraud too!

THE ONLY CART MANUFACTURER I ENDORSE IS DreamMaker Hot Dog Carts. I watched them being made with my own eyes and I was definitely in the USA! They are great people to work with too.

Watch the video!