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When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Client Testimonials



The BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR!!! Todd changed our lives! He’s not JUST a lawyer representing us for a case. Todd and his office have become Family. When we entered his office in August of 2022, we entered with such anxiety, uncertainty, and so much stress. Honestly we were very lost. My husband and I felt alone. How could a lawyer who didn’t know us, know our family, know our background represents us, When this could change our lives for the next 5-7years that my husband was facing in Federal jail. By the time our free consultation was over with Todd, we left his office at ease. All our questions were answered and we had a sense of relief.

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NYC Asset Forfeiture Lawyers

Asset Forfeiture: A Ruthless Process

Asset forfeiture is a ruthless process through which state and federal governments confiscate – and seek to permanently take – private property, such as cash, bank accounts, estate properties, vehicles, or other personal property. The government takes away everything from a person. There are hundreds, thousands, of federal and state statutes which can result in asset forfeiture. These statutes allow the government to seize property by proving there’s a connection between the property/assets and illegal activity. If there is even a level of “probable cause,” it’s enough for the government to take over the property/assets. The link doesn’t have to be significant. The property doesn’t have to be directly linked to the illegal activity.

Our NYC asset forfeiture lawyers can help, regardless of the complexity of your case.

Types of Asset Forfeiture

There are two types of asset forfeiture: State and Federal. The state forfeiture will be done via a District Attorney or an Attorney General. Federal asset forfeiture is done via the United States Attorney’s Office. The federal law has 3 types of situations: criminal, in rem (civil), and administrative. In New York, the federal asset forfeitures are handled by the Assistant United States Attorney Generals from the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, Northern District of New York, and Western District of New York.

Criminal Forfeiture

Criminal forfeiture is the most common form of federal asset forfeiture. This is when the federal government tells you that if you’re convicted of a crime you’re charged with, then you have to forfeit property of yours. If the government is going after a specific property, they must name the property in question. They also need to seek a money judgment, which is a judgment against you for a certain sum of money – which represents the amount of money you made from the crime. These proceedings are determined by Rule 32.2 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Federal laws, which regulate criminal forfeiture, require a US District judge to order the forfeiture. That means the forfeiture is decided as a part of the sentencing. It typically requires a lower burden of proof than the criminal case. As a result, you need the very best asset forfeiture lawyer when in Federal Court. If a case goes to trial, the forfeiture will probably be handled by another trial.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

In order to start a forfeiture procedure, a Federal prosecutor has to give notice to the defendant of the intention to forfeit property. That notice has to be included in the indictment. If the trial is on the criminal case, then forfeiture is mentioned until after a verdict is passed. At that time, there will be a separate forfeiture proceeding. If the defendant is convicted, then the government has to show in the second proceeding that there is a link between the crime and the property the government is requesting be forfeit.

If the property belongs to another owner, the government cannot confiscate it. Third parties are excluded from participating in a federal crime case, which means if you own property which is being forfeited as a part of someone else’s criminal case – then you have to wait until the end of the case for the ancillary proceeding. During this proceeding, you can assert your right to get the property back

New York State Asset Forfeiture

Under NY State Law, District Attorneys can forfeit proceeds of crime. In New York, state prosecutors cannot forfeit real property – except in drug cases. That means they cannot go after your home. It is extremely difficult for a state prosecutor to do so, and the law is on your side in this case. The prosecutor can go after ill-gotten gains, such as cash, bank accounts, real property, personal property, etc. Property which is an instrument of the crime, meaning vehicles, real estate, currency, etc., is fair game for forfeiture.

Under New York law, DAs can forfeit proceeds of criminal enterprises. In addition to the proceeds of the crime, the instrumentalities of the crime can be forfeit as well. That’s why you need a New York asset forfeiture lawyer to help protect you. In New York, state prosecutors cannot forfeit your real property – except in drug cases. That means they cannot go after your home. If they are, then our NY state asset forfeiture attorneys can help. It’s very difficult for state prosecutors to do so, and the law is on your side when it comes to such forfeiture attempts or seizure attempts.

Proceeds of crime refers to gains – such as cash, property, or other assets, which were gained as a result of the crime. Property, which is considered an instrumentality of crime, refers to assets which were used to facilitate the crime. For example, vehicles, real estate, or money, which was actively being used – is an example. Asset forfeiture is usually permanent – unless you prove otherwise.

Penal Law Article 480

New York has no true mechanism for criminal forfeiture. In NY, the main criminal forfeiture statute is in NY penal law Article 480, which discusses convictions for felonies as defined in article 220 of the penal law. Unlike Article 13-A, and all the other federal forfeiture statutes, which require the prosecution to prove forefeitability at trial based on evidence, Article 480 requires a much higher standard of proof.

The other main forfeiture statute is found in New York’s OCCA of 1986, which defines the enterprise corruption crimes. OCCA discusses both criminal and civil forfeiture, including article 13-a provisional remedies in criminal cases. Like Article 480 forfeitures, criminal OCCA forfeitures mandate that the prosecution prove its forfeiture case beyond a reasonable doubt. The statute also permits the court to use its own findings instead of the juries. The court is empowered to ignore a jury verdict or limit it as it sees fit.

In both criminal forfeiture schemes, the prosecutor has to present evidence to the grand jury which provides proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the property should be subject to forfeiture. The grand jury has to make the decision to pursue forfeiture of the property. In contrast, Article 13-a, nor the federal scheme, have any such requirements of grand jury review. Under the current criminal forfeiture scheme, the court can also order the prosecution to provide any discovery/work product related to the forfeiture aspect of the case.

The end result is that the criminal forfeiture statute is rarely used by Prosecutors in the state of New York. None of the state criminal forfeiture statues provide for forfeiture of proceeds of misdemeanor offenses, or forfeiture of the instruments pertaining to non-drug felony offenses. However, federal statutes are the opposite. In many situations, the DA’s office will ask the Federal government to take the seizures from misdemeanor crimes.

Our New York Asset Forfeiture Lawyers Can Help

As part of the NY criminal case process, the only way a prosecutor can demand forfeiture is by attaching a forfeiture stipulation as a condition for the plea offer. In those cases, the DA can only receive forfeiture in exchange for agreeing not to file a civil lawsuit pursuant to CPLR 13-A. There is no general criminal forfeiture, as a result DAs are instead required to file a separate civil lawsuit against defendants who don’t take the plea.

Our law firm can help you with ANY New York asset forfeitures issues.

If you are facing asset forfeiture at the state or federal level, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation to protect your rights and property. The asset forfeiture attorneys at Spodek Law Group have extensive knowledge of the complex asset forfeiture laws and can provide aggressive defense strategies tailored to your unique case. Contact us today for a consultation and let us fight to protect what is rightfully yours.

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