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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.

Responding to Subpoena from the Attorney General

The Legal Landscape of Financial Regulation in New York and Beyond


As the epicenter of the financial industry in the United States – and one of the greatest centers of finance in the entire world – New York operates under a unique set of federal and state regulations that cover banks and other businesses.

Federal Regulatory Framework

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.

Under federal law, the United States Attorney General and other officials within the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other regulatory agencies in the federal government may have the power to issue subpoenas demanding the production of documents or testimony in ongoing investigations.

The Martin Act: New York’s Special Provision

In New York state specifically, a 1921 law known as the Martin Act vests special subpoena powers to the New York Attorney General – a lawyer elected by a statewide popular vote every four years. Under the Martin Act, the New York Attorney General, as well as District Attorneys throughout the state, have broad authority to investigate and bring charges in financial fraud cases.

Scope and Implications of Investigations

If the Attorney General or a District Attorney in New York believe that you, your business, or your associates have been involved in any financial or securities fraud scheme, they may open a wide-ranging investigation with few parameters on what information they cannot seek.

Through their investigative divisions, the Attorney General or a District Attorney can examine all of your actions and determine whether or not you violated any laws – or even individuals’ trust – in your financial and business activities.

The Severity of the Martin Act

The Martin Act is particularly stringent in that it includes no mens rea defense. In other words, under the strict liability standard applied by the law, you can be found guilty of financial fraud under the Martin Act even if you did so entirely unintentionally.

As another point of warning for people subpoenaed in Martin Act cases, successive New York Attorneys General have gradually increased the scope of the law to cover activities that were once considered tangential to financial fraud. For instance, the current Attorney General is pursuing oil companies over the non-disclosure of their research about the effects of climate change.

Responding to Subpoenas

When you are under subpoena from the Attorney General – or from an federal or state law enforcement agency – you are expected to appear at a time specified to give oral testimony or to produce documents for review.

However, there are some grounds to contest these subpoenas. For instance, courts may quash a subpoena that is overly broad or that impinges on constitutional rights, such as the right to confidential communication between an attorney and a client or the Fifth Amendment right of an individual to decline to provide testimony (although not information) that may incriminate them. A criminal defense attorney can develop a legal strategy to defeat a subpoena from the Attorney General.

Penalties and Legal Representation

For individuals found guilty of financial fraud under the Martin Act, violations are punishable by up to four years in prison and massive fines based on the assessed dollar amount of the fraud in question. Penalties can be even stiffer if the information obtained in a subpoena – either federal or state – results in other criminal charges.

If you, your business, your associates, or a loved one has received a subpoena from the Attorney General or another legal official, it is incumbent upon you to find a competent, qualified criminal defense attorney immediately.

The heavy penalties under the Martin Act are not the only ones that you can face during a Martin Act investigation. The destruction or improper storage of documents – or even any conversations between you and your affiliates – may be considered obstruction of justice and result in even heavier penalties. The same caution also applies to all federal subpoenas.

A trusted criminal lawyer will be able to guide you through the investigation and decide whether or not to contest the subpoena. If you are ultimately charged under the Martin Act, another state law, or under a federal statute, a criminal defense attorney can work with prosecutors on a plea agreement that limits your legal liability or – if necessary – present a strong defense before a judge and jury.


Delaying hiring an attorney, even by a few days, can have a dramatic impact on your legal liability in investigations where a subpoena has been issued. That makes it imperative that you contact an attorney quickly.

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