Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.
Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.
Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.
We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.
The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.
Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.
In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.
Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group
The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.
We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.
If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.
Last Updated on: 27th May 2023, 12:16 pm
If your grocery store or convenience store has been accused of food stamp fraud, then you need an experienced lawyer to represent you.
Food stamp fraud in New York carries significant penalties for retailers. Here’s what you need to know to fight the charge.
Types of food stamp fraud for Retailers
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides food stamps through its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Although snap originally provided actual stamps with cash values, it later switched to the current system, where recipients of food stamps receive a certain amount deposited onto an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card.
There are a couple common ways that retailers can commit food stamp fraud.
The most common type of retailer food stamp fraud is trafficking. This is when you purchase a customer’s snap benefits for cash or other items.
A standard transaction with a customer using food stamps would involve you selling the customer an eligible item and charging his EBT card for the amount, just like you would any other debit card.
The difference with trafficking is that you’re charging the customer for a non-existent transaction or you’re charging him more than he should pay for an item, with his consent. In return, you give him a portion of the extra amount that you charged him.
For example, if a customer came in to your store and you charged his EBT card $200, then gave him $100, that would be trafficking. You’re collecting $200 even though you haven’t provided $200 of merchandise to the customer, and you’re facilitating the customer’s fraud by giving him $100 cash.
Another common type of food stamp fraud is allowing the customer to purchase ineligible items. The USDA provides information on items that are and aren’t eligible for snap purchases. snap benefits can be put towards most common household foods, but the customer can’t use them for alcohol, tobacco products, non-food items, hot foods and medicines.
If you allowed a customer to purchase something on that list, then you’d be committing fraud. Retailers often do this and charge the customer extra for the purchase. An example would be a liquor store selling 1942 tequila.
Penalties of Food Stamp Fraud for Retailers
There are serious penalties involved if you’re convicted of food stamp fraud. Your penalties will depend on the specific offense and the monetary value of the goods involved.
Food stamp fraud will typically include a civil penalty. If you’re found guilty of trafficking, a court in New York can fine you up to $100,000 per instance of trafficking, meaning those costs can add up quickly. If you sell ineligible items for snap benefits, the amount you’re fined will depend on the value of the items.
Allowing a customer to purchase a gun or controlled substance with snap benefits also carries a steep penalty of up to 0,000 per violation.
The prosecutor can press criminal charges against you for food stamp fraud. Depending on the circumstances of your case, this could result in jail time.
Another issue with food stamp fraud is that it can lead to you getting disqualified from the snap program, either permanently or temporarily. If your store is in a low-income area with a large number of people who receive snap benefits, then this can result in a significant loss of income.
How long can you expect a disqualification to last?
Any convictions for trafficking or selling either guns or controlled substances will lead to a permanent disqualification. Selling tobacco products or alcohol to customers paying with snap benefits could earn you a three to five-year suspension. Sale of any other ineligible nonfood products could bring a six-month to three-year disqualification.
These aren’t just penalties that no one ever gets, either. In 2015, the owners of Big Boys Food Market pled guilty to food stamp fraud. For the period from April of 2012 to May of 2013, the two brothers who owned the market were found to have exchanged almost 8,000 worth of snap benefits for cash.
Even though they cooperated by pleading guilty, the brothers were still sentenced to each make full restitution to the USDA for the $147,658.28 they fraudulently took from the program. One of the brothers received a 12-month prison sentence, and the other received two years of probation along with a five-month sentence for home detention.
Hiring a Grocery Store Food Stamp Lawyer
The best move you can make if you’re dealing with a food stamp fraud accusation is getting in touch with a qualified grocery store food stamp lawyer who can prepare the most effective defense for you.
Your business could be at stake. Considering penalties for food stamp fraud in New York can reach $100,000 and result in jail time, a conviction will be a serious issue for you. That’s not even considering the damage a snap disqualification can do to your store’s earning potential if you have quite a few customers who pay for items using their EBT cards.
Your lawyer will be able to assess your situation and the case against you to set up your defense. If a plea deal is a possibility, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor and get the most favorable terms for you. Contact a food stamp lawyer right away to give yourself the best chance at success fighting your case.
If your grocery store or convenience store is accused of food stamp fraud, it is essential to hire an experienced lawyer to represent you. Food stamp fraud in New York carries significant penalties for retailers, including fines up to $100,000 per instance and possible jail time. Additionally, a conviction can also lead to disqualification from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), resulting in a loss of income. A qualified grocery store food stamp lawyer can assess your situation and the case against you, setting up the most effective defense or negotiating the best possible plea deal on your behalf.
Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.