FACT CHECK: Has An Elkton, Maryland, McDonald’s Been Permanently Closed Due To A Sex Trafficking Investigation?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A viral post shared on Facebook claims a McDonald’s restaurant in Elkton, Maryland, is being shut down due to investigations of sex trafficking and money laundering.

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

There’s no evidence a McDonald’s in Elkton has been permanently closed after investigations of sex trafficking and money laundering. Elkton’s town government and law enforcement have refuted this rumor.

Fact Check:

The April 26 Facebook post, which has been shared over 1,100 times, was posted by a page titled “Town of Elkton MD.” “Big news for Cecil county today, Elkton McDonald’s on Pulaski highway located in the big elk shopping center is being permanently shut down as of 4/27/21 due to a S*x trafficking investigation and international money laundering investigation,” the post states, citing a “Town of Elkton public official.”

Contrary to the claim, the McDonald’s on Pulaski highway was not permanently shut down for sex trafficking or money laundering allegations. As of press time, the Elkton location mentioned in the post is still listed on McDonald’s website, which says it’s open 24 hours. (RELATED: Did McDonald’s and Coca-Cola Announce They Will No Longer Hire White People For Executive Positions?)

Had a McDonald’s location been shut down for alleged sex trafficking and money laundering, local media outlets likely would have reported on it, yet none have. The “News” section of Elkton’s government website also makes no mention of the alleged investigations.

The page that originally shared the claim appears to be unaffiliated with Elkton. The Elkton Police Department called the “Town of Elkton MD” Facebook page “fictitious” in an April 26 Facebook post responding to the page’s allegation.

“It has been brought to our attention of a fictitious Town of Elkton MD Facebook page circulating a story regarding the closure of the McDonalds Restaurant located at Routes 213/40,” the post reads, in part. “There is only one official Town of Elkton FB page (depicted below), which is moderated by the Towns administration team. This account represents our community and its leadership.”

Additionally, the genuine Town of Elkton Facebook page commented on the “Town of Elkton MD” post, saying, “Fake story- this page is not sponsored or run by the municipality.”

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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