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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.

Food Stamp Fraud Judicial Review of Determination

The U.S. government performs audits and investigates allegations of violations in order to assure the integrity of the SNAP program. When they believe a business has committed food stamp fraud, they can take steps to disqualify the business from participating in the SNAP program. When this happens, you have a right to a judicial review of the Food and Nutrition Service’s action against you.

What is a judicial review?

A judicial review is your right to have a neutral third party examine the allegations against you and determine if disqualifying you from the snap program is the appropriate remedy. In this case, the third party that conducts the review is a federal judge. They don’t work for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) or any division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Your judicial review is a lawsuit. You file a summons and complaint in a federal court. The case functions like any other lawsuit. The case may proceed to trial. After hearing the evidence, the judge may affirm the decision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they may throw it out completely, or they may order a different penalty.

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.

How do you preserve your right to a judicial review?

There are a lot of things that need to happen in order for you to have the right to a judicial review. Preserving your right to appeal begins long before you file the case in district court. In fact, you need to begin preparing for your judicial review as soon as you receive a charging letter from the FNS.

When you first receive a charging letter, you have only 10 days to respond. You need to prepare documents that show the FNS why they’re wrong about the allegations against you. This response need to be detailed, and it needs to be carefully crafted to respond to the allegations. From there, you can ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture to review the claim. Again, you have only 10 days to demand the review.

Once you’ve exhausted your right to an administrative review, you have thirty days to ask for a judicial review. To get a judicial review, you file a summons and complaint in the appropriate U.S. district court. This is a civil lawsuit much like any other lawsuit in a federal court. You need to prepare court filings and serve the other party.

You have only 30 days to prepare the lawsuit and get it filed. This time limit begins when you receive the final decision from the administrative review. If your lawsuit isn’t timely, you’ll likely lose your opportunity to have a judge review the penalties against you.

Does the opinion of the FNS matter?

When you exercise your right to a judicial review, the district court judge conducts their case on a de novo basis. That means, they don’t have access to any kind of record from the administrative proceedings. They don’t start with the presumption that the person who conducted the earlier review made the correct choice. Instead, they conduct their own trial with an open mind. They admit evidence and they make their own determination from scratch.

How can a judicial review help my business?

If you believe that the person reviewing the case didn’t reach the correct conclusion, a judicial review is a way to get a neutral third party to review the case. You have the opportunity to participate in the discovery process. This process allows you to request documents from the government, conduct depositions and otherwise prepare your case.

The judicial review also gives you the opportunity to ask the court for a stay of the action against you. The court must review the case for whether they think it’s likely that you’ll succeed on the merits of your case. If the court believes that you have a good case, and they believe that someone’s likely to suffer permanent harm by the action against you, they can put the action on hold while you wait for trail.

Can I appeal?

If you’re unhappy with the decision of the federal district court, you can bring an appeal. That appeal goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals in your circuit. In the appeal, the court reviews the record from the lower court. They don’t conduct a completely new trial, but they review the district court’s decision for mistakes. If they believe the district court made errors that prevented you from having a fair trial on the issues, they can vacate the decision of the district court.

From there, the next court to hear an appeal is the U.S. Supreme Court. To have the Supreme Court hear your case, you must apply for a writ of certiorari. Very few food stamp fraud cases go to the Supreme Court. However, bringing a writ of certiorari is an option if that’s what it takes to get justice for you.

How can an attorney help?

If you’re facing an allegation of food stamp fraud and disqualification of your participation in snap or another SNAP penalty, an attorney can help you skillfully prepare your case. A judicial review is a court case just like any other court case. An experienced attorney can accurately prepare court documents in order to meet the deadlines and preserve your claims. An attorney knows the rules of evidence. This can help you prepare your case with admissible and convincing evidence, so that you can present the facts to the judge in the best light possible.

An experienced snap attorney can give you guidance based on their years of working in this area of law. They know what evidence the court needs to see in order for your judicial review to succeed. Their experience with evidentiary rules mean that you arrive at your trial date prepared and confident. They can tactfully and skillfully approach the government’s attorney to see if there’s a non-trial resolution that might work for you. This guidance can make a significant difference when it comes to protecting your rights and your business.

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