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Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:21 pm
The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented economic turmoil, with many businesses facing closure without assistance. The federal government responded by creating emergency loan programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to help businesses stay afloat. However, in the rush to distribute aid, fraud became rampant as applicants falsified information to receive larger loans than qualified for. Now, authorities are cracking down on PPP and EIDL fraud through criminal charges. If you are under investigation or charged in Colorado, working with an experienced legal team can be crucial to protecting your rights and future. Here’s what you need to know about fighting PPP and EIDL fraud allegations.
Prosecutors treat PPP and EIDL fraud charges seriously, with potentially severe penalties. The allegations typically center around falsifying information on loan applications, such as:
Authorities can charge PPP and EIDL fraud under various federal statutes related to bank fraud, wire fraud, false statements, and identity theft. For instance, wire fraud under 18 USC § 1343 carries up to 20 years imprisonment.
With lengthy prison terms possible, building a strong defense requires exposing flaws in the government’s case early. An attorney can pinpoint weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence and arguments. For example, vague loan application questions may have led to innocent mistakes rather than deliberate deception.
Facing federal criminal charges for loan fraud can be daunting. However, the stakes are too high to navigate the justice system without an advocate protecting your rights. The ideal lawyer will have specific experience with PPP and EIDL fraud defenses in Colorado. Here are important credentials to look for:
Federal Criminal Defense Focus
Since PPP and EIDL fraud charges come from federal agencies like the Department of Justice, your lawyer must understand federal criminal law and procedure. They should regularly handle cases in federal court.
Record of Results
Check the lawyer’s track record in fraud and financial crime cases. Do they have experience taking cases like yours to trial and achieving full acquittals when warranted? Avoid attorneys who push clients to plead guilty at first appearance.
Relationships with Prosecutors
Well-connected lawyers who have worked with local U.S. Attorney’s Offices and federal law enforcement may be able to negotiate effectively or even prevent charges from being filed. Those relationships could prove invaluable.
Finance and Accounting Knowledge
The complexity of PPP and EIDL rules requires a lawyer who grasps the mechanics of loan calculations, payroll documentation, tax records, and other financial details. They must identify errors or ambiguities in loan applications.
Commitment to Client Service
The most skilled lawyer means little without tireless commitment to clients. Seek out attorneys known for personally guiding clients through each phase of the case and promptly responding to questions or concerns.
If you are under investigation or charged with PPP or EIDL fraud in the District of Colorado, the defense lawyers at Spodek Law Group offer the expertise and tenacity to protect your freedom. Attorney Todd Spodek is a former prosecutor with over 20 years of experience and an impeccable record of results. He has successfully defended client after client facing complex financial crime accusations.
Mr. Spodek and his hand-picked team not only understand the intricacies of emergency loan programs, but also know how to leverage prosecutorial missteps for dismissal. They have the acumen to reconcile ambiguities in your loan application that negate criminal intent. With compassion and discretion, Spodek Law Group attorneys treat each client like family.
Do not wait to get help when facing federal fraud charges. Mr. Spodek offers free, confidential case evaluations so you can discuss your situation knowledgeably. Call (212) 300-5196 or contact the firm online to get started today.
The prospect of federal prison is frightening. By understanding the key phases of EIDL and PPP fraud cases in Colorado, you can prepare mentally and legally. Here is an overview of what to expect:
In many cases, the first inkling of trouble comes when federal agents show up at your home or business with a search warrant. They may interrogates you on the spot or even make an arrest. The U.S. Secret Service, FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, and other agencies all investigate EIDL and PPP fraud. Prosecutors will subpoena your financial records and assemble evidence. It is vital to have your lawyer intervene with prosecutors before charges get filed.
Once satisfied with their evidence, prosecutors will pursue an indictment from a federal grand jury containing EIDL or PPP fraud charges. An arrest warrant soon follows. Hiring counsel at this stage is critical to protecting your rights during questioning and negotiating bail terms enabling you to get released pending trial. Your lawyer may also be able to convince prosecutors to drop or reduce charges.
Over a series of pre-trial hearings, your lawyer will look to have inadmissible evidence suppressed and weak charges dismissed by filing motions targeting flaws in the government’s case. For instance, they may file a motion alleging Fourth Amendment violations if agents lacked probable cause for obtaining warrants.
If prosecutors refuse to drop the case, the next decision is whether to plead guilty or proceed to trial. Your lawyer will guide you based on the strength of defenses. At trial, they will cross-examine witnesses for inconsistencies and seek to create reasonable doubt around intent. If convicted at trial, harsher sentencing typically follows.
Following a guilty plea or conviction, your lawyer’s advocacy continues at sentencing. They will present mitigating factors aimed at securing the most lenient sentence under federal guidelines. If errors tainted your trial, they can pursue appeals to overturn the conviction entirely.
Each phase requires unrelenting, in-depth advocacy from a federal criminal defense attorney. Do not go it alone against the DOJ. The right lawyer can stand between you and prison.
Skilled defense lawyers can deploy various strategies to defend against EIDL and PPP fraud charges and achieve the best possible outcome. Here are some key defense concepts:
An essential element for federal fraud charges is evidence the defendant knowingly acted to deceive through false statements. Your attorney can argue you did not purposefully make misrepresentations on emergency loan applications. Ambiguous questions may have led to innocent mistakes rather than willful deception. Evidence showing you used funds properly can also undermine intent allegations.
Another avenue is challenging the government’s claim that any inaccuracies on applications influenced loan decisions or amounts. If the prosecution cannot prove falsehoods impacted the process, they may fail to meet materiality requirements. Your lawyer can show applications contained ample accurate information justifying aid.
If another party pressured you into going along with fraud in duress, that could negate intent. Your attorney may pin culpability on a business partner, accountant, or family member. You may have lacked full awareness of wrongdoing.
The government may allege inflated revenues or employee numbers to claim excessive loan amounts. But poor record-keeping often complicates evaluating a struggling business’s finances. Your lawyer can challenge those conclusions by presenting documentation or accounting experts supporting your representations.
If affidavits supporting search or arrest warrants contained deliberately false or misleading statements, your lawyer can allege Fourth Amendment violations and seek suppression of evidence. This attack on probable cause may lead to case dismissal.
An experienced financial crimes lawyer will identify every viable defense strategy. The most ethical, aggressive advocates will pursue dismissal or acquittal at trial rather than immediately advising clients to plead guilty. Never give up hope until your legal rights are fully protected.
The consequences of federal EIDL and PPP fraud convictions are undoubtedly severe. Possible penalties under applicable statutes like wire fraud, bank fraud, and false statement charges include:
At sentencing, the judge will consider factors like:
You may face sentencing enhancements for abusing a position of trust as a business owner or having leadership role in the fraud.
However, skilled counsel may convince the prosecution to offer a plea deal with dramatically reduced charges and penalties. And at trial, experienced lawyers can secure acquittals when the evidence is lacking. The worst mistakes are assuming conviction is certain and giving up too easily. Rigorously contesting the allegations can pay dividends.
The critical first step after learning you are under PPP or EIDL fraud investigation is contacting a federal criminal defense law firm promptly. Do not speak to investigators without your lawyer present. At Spodek Law Group, our team is standing by 24/7 to offer urgent legal help when you need us most. Take these steps to protect yourself:
Do not answer any law enforcement questions without counsel present. What you say can be used against you. Politely decline to speak until your lawyer arrives.
Locate any records relating to your emergency loan applications, receipt of funds, and business operations. This evidence can help build defenses.
Hire a Lawyer Now
Immediately call an experienced PPP and EIDL fraud defense lawyer for skilled representation. We will take over communication with investigators and prosecutors.
Follow Counsel’s Advice
Listen carefully to your lawyer’s strategic guidance at each phase. They will help negotiate with prosecutors, guide you on whether to testify, and craft strong trial defenses if necessary. Trust their experience.
Facing federal criminal charges is overwhelming. But an elite legal advocate can stand up to the DOJ’s power and resources. At Spodek Law Group, we have helped clients achieve favorable outcomes in complex fraud investigations for decades. Now we are ready to fight for you. Call us today for a free case review.
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