Man Tries The ‘Seinfeld’ Michigan Bottle Deposit Scam In Real Life, Fails

Image courtesy of Sean Tubridy

Fans of classic ’90s TV and wacky schemes may remember an episode of the show Seinfeld where a character hauls soda bottles from New York to Michigan to redeem them for the deposits. There, the redemption rate is 10 cents per item, while it’s only five in New York. By collecting bottles and cans in New York and redeeming them in Michigan, they could cash in. Now a man from Michigan is accused of trying that scheme in real life.

The problem with this scheme is that you need a lot of bottles, and even then it still isn’t really worth the time and effort to drive, as the fictional redemption schemers discovered two decades ago. The real-life schemer learned a different lesson: if you’re doing something illegal, don’t drive over the speed limit.

His attorney argued that his client was caught speeding, trying to redeem the bottles, and that the police couldn’t prove where he was going with the bottles, or what he intended to do with them. Maybe he was going to recycle them, or throw them into a lake out of spite.

Pretending that the bottles were purchased in Michigan is illegal, and the number of containers involved would make the scam a felony, but they can’t prove that he was going to do that.

In real-life ‘Seinfeld’ scheme, man faces trial for attempting to deposit out-of-state bottles with Michigan’s boosted rates [Daily News]