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Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

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.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

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Meet Todd Spodek


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.

SNAP Violation Defense Lawyers

Defending Against SNAP Violations: A Guide for Store Owners

Getting accused of breaking SNAP rules can be scary. A violation means you could lose your business or owe big fines. But there’s always hope – with the right legal help. This guide explains common SNAP issues store owners face, how to respond, and when you need a lawyer.

An Introduction to SNAP and Why Violations Matter

SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It offers food assistance benefits that customers spend using Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. As a store owner, you can get authorized to accept EBT payments. But that comes with responsibility to follow SNAP rules.If your store breaks SNAP guidelines, you face “violations” and penalties:

  • Fines up to $100,000 per violation
  • Temporary or permanent disqualification from SNAP
  • Even criminal charges in some cases

Losing SNAP is devastating since EBT redemptions make up 30-50% of sales for many small stores. That’s why every violation letter must be taken very seriously.This guide covers common SNAP issues shop owners encounter, how to respond yourself, and when you need expert legal defense.

Decoding SNAP Violation Letters

If your store is accused of SNAP violations, you’ll get an official letter from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). These outline:

  • The specific violations reported
  • Evidence against your store
  • Penalties being pursued

Don’t panic. Violation letters start a legal process where you can defend yourself. But you only have 10 days to respond before penalties take effect automatically.That initial response is critical – it sets the tone for your whole defense. Handled right by a lawyer, many stores get violations reduced or dismissed.

Do You Need a SNAP Violation Lawyer?

Trying to handle SNAP violations alone rarely goes well. The laws are complex and the FNS holds all the power. They almost always win without experienced legal help.So when should you hire a lawyer? Here are signs you need to bring in a pro:

  • Your letter alleges trafficking (exchanging EBT for cash)
  • It threatens permanent disqualification from SNAP
  • Your store has past SNAP issues on record
  • The letter details extensive violations or high redemption %
  • You don’t understand the legal terminology used

With smaller first offenses, responding yourself may work. But the risks are massive, so legal advice is wise.

Finding the Right SNAP Violation Attorney

SNAP law is an obscure specialty. You need a lawyer with specific expertise fighting EBT violations and penalties. Ask prospects:

  • How many SNAP cases have you handled?
  • What are typical outcomes for your clients?
  • Will you represent me in appeals if needed?

Ideally, look for an attorney with 10+ years focused on SNAP. Check client reviews too. Then meet to see if they understand your case and business.The right SNAP violation lawyer translates complex laws into a clear defense strategy for your situation. They also negotiate firmly with the FNS, backed by litigation experience.

Building an Effective SNAP Violation Defense

Skilled SNAP violation attorneys craft layered defenses to cover every angle. Here are five key elements they include:

1. Procedural Challenges

SNAP cases depend on the FNS following exact rules and deadlines. Small bureaucratic errors can invalidate penalties. Your lawyer checks for these.

2. Violation Reduction Arguments

If some violations did occur, your attorney negotiates to reduce the scope. This lowers penalties by portraying issues as isolated incidents.

3. Mitigating Factor Briefs

A detailed brief explains circumstances that mitigate violations without excusing them. This further reduces penalties assessed.

4. Penalty Guidelines Appeals

If fines or disqualifications do apply, your lawyer argues they exceed USDA guidelines for your specific violations. This limits the punishment.

5. Constitutional Rights Appeals

As a last resort, your attorney challenges penalties as violating due process or equal protection rights. This is complex but can overturn rulings.Layering these arguments provides multiple ways to defend against allegations and reduce consequences.

Settling violations requires back-and-forth with the USDA through appeals. There are two potential stages if the initial penalty decision holds:

Administrative Review: Your attorney formally contests the ruling to an FNS hearing officer. Additional evidence and arguments are submitted.

Judicial Review: If still unsuccessful, your lawyer files suit in federal court. Judges can overturn USDA decisions as unjustified or illegal.This appeals process takes considerable legal experience. Administrative hearings have rigid rules while federal lawsuits face extensive USDA legal resources.As you can see, defending SNAP violation allegations is complicated even for basic cases. With an experienced attorney guiding your strategy, your store has the best possible chance to mitigate or overturn allegations.

Common SNAP Violations Facing Store Owners

While SNAP laws seem straightforward, confusion still leads to violations. Here are the most frequent citation store owners face:

Trafficking EBT Benefits

Trafficking means exchanging EBT funds for cash or other compensation. This allows benefits to be used on anything, not just groceries. Trafficking is illegal and triggers the harshest SNAP penalties.Unfortunately, the rules can be unclear. For example, manual voucher transactions are prohibited since they bypass scanning protections. Vouchers record what is purchased, so missing records suggest trafficking.But during technical glitches, vouchers help customers still buy eligible goods. In those cases, vouchers don’t imply trafficking. Store owners often don’t realize policies changed.

Sale of Ineligible Items

SNAP benefits can only buy groceries for home preparation and consumption. Alcohol, tobacco, prepared hot foods, supplements, pet food, and paper products are all ineligible.Mistakes happen when clerks misunderstand changing rules or customers use obscure food stamp tricks. For example, some divide shopping lists between eligible and ineligible items then “pay” separately to hide violations.Without careful training and oversight, innocent sale of ineligible items still triggers SNAP violations.

Providing Prohibited Inducements

Offering incentives to encourage EBT benefit spending is illegal under SNAP law. For example, you cannot:

  • Offer special discounts for SNAP recipients only
  • Waive sales tax on EBT purchases
  • Provide bonus merchandise, lottery tickets, or cash as EBT incentives

These inducements amount to “trafficking lite” since they exchange benefits for other compensation. But even subtle incentives like keeping EBT fees low can still violate rules without intention.

Credit Extensions to Customers

Letting EBT benefit shoppers buy groceries now and pay the balance later is prohibited. Benefits must be redeemed when items are received since credits are essentially short-term EBT loans.Many merchants allow house credit accounts without realizing they cannot extend the same terms to SNAP recipients. Doing so risks violations.

Out-of-State Sales

EBT cards are issued by individual states. Redeeming any non-local EBT benefits triggers violations due to benefit transfer rules.For stores near state borders, out-of-state sales can happen by accident. Staff may not check card origins carefully or customers may provide fake local addresses. Preventing and catching unauthorized sales is essential.

Excessive Redemptions

If your store’s monthly EBT redemptions exceed what typical inventory levels justify, you may face allegations of trafficking or other violations. Excessive redemptions raise suspicion of abuse.However, unusual customer demand, seasonal variation, and other factors can cause temporary spikes. Your lawyer cites these to justify higher redemptions as legal.

Responding to Allegations Yourself

For minor first offenses, contesting violations yourself is possible but still risky. Here are basic steps to try:

Review the allegations thoroughly. Make sure you understand every violation alleged and the exact policies cited. Research referenced SNAP rules to clarify what is and isn’t allowed.

Gather exonerating evidence. Pull all records that address violations like inventory logs, personnel files, EBT transaction records, etc. Look for proof that specific incidents didn’t happen as claimed or were mistakes.

Draft your initial response. Focus on factual rebuttals, not emotional appeals. Admit no liability or fault. Ask that all violations and penalties be dismissed.

Submit within 10 days. Send your written response certified mail before the deadline. This meets requirements and starts settlement talks. Be prepared to negotiate.

Get legal help with appeals. If penalties still result, hire a SNAP violation lawyer to handle appeals. Let their experience protect your business.

Without an attorney, getting violations dismissed fully is very rare. But following these steps gives you the best shot.

Why SNAP Violations Can Devastate Small Stores

Losing your SNAP license – even briefly – cuts off 30-50% of sales overnight. Few stores survive that financial hit. And after requalification, EBT revenue stays depressed for years as former customers go elsewhere.That’s why aggressive, skillful defense against SNAP allegations is so vital. With an expert SNAP lawyer negotiating for you, most stores see violations reduced or avoided completely.Don’t gamble your livelihood on DIY defense. Get experienced legal help and keep your store’s EBT income safe. It’s the surest way to secure your business’ future.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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