Ahmed Mohammed thought he had a pretty great gig: he set up his hot dog stand near Ground Zero in New York City. And then bilked tourists out of as much as $30 for a single hot dog.
There was nothing special about Mohammed’s cart: it was the same generic hot dog cart that dots the landscape in New York City. It just happened to be in a very touristy location.
While it’s easy to think, “Who would pay $30 for a hot dog in the first place?” it turns out it wasn’t by choice: Mohammed didn’t have the prices posted and would serve tourists their hot dog–before demanding his massive payout.
Unfortunately for Mohammed, his $30 hot dog scam made national news–and now, he’s been fired.
Turns out Mohammed didn’t own his cart–he just worked there–and his boss, Abdelalim Abdelbaky, was absolutely horrified at what Mohammed had done. Especially when he found out his employee had racked up thousands of dollars in fines (hot dog prices in New York are regulated, as part of the cart’s license) and, of course, national press coverage.
“I fired him over it yesterday after I watched the news,” Abdelbaky said. “He told me he charged people $2 a hot dog. He lied to me.”
Hot dogs were supposed to be sold for just $2.50 a piece. Meaning Mohammed pocketed as much as a whopping $27.50 per hot dog. Not bad for about thirty seconds worth of work.
Abdelbaky, for his part was absolutely stunned by Mohammed’s action.
“Nobody would give him a job and he came to me,” said Abdelbaky. “I lost money now, and I lost some customers, so I have a lot of losses.”
Abdelbaky even let Mohammed stay at his house, rent-free, on top of giving him a job (with a substantial amount of kickbacks.)
The unscrupulous hot dog man himself, Abdel Mohammed, has not commented on his firing.