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We are an elite criminal defense law firm, that emphasizes providing the best service and professionalism to all clients. We service a curated clientele nationwide – that expect the best from their lawyer. We handle tough criminal defense and legal situations that require deep knowledge, experience, dedication, and excellence in order to win. We have over 50 years of combined experience, handling national and international cases.

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The Spodek Law Group is one of the most successful law firms in the USA. Our success comes from the fact we are attentive to details, and take a very pragmatic approach to each and every single case. Our clients turn to us for realistic advice – so they can make the appropriate decisions they need to make personally. Our goal is to make sure your case ends in a positive outcome, not only personally – but for your family as well.


SNAP Trafficking Charge Letter

SNAP Trafficking Charge Letter

Being a retailer in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) means that you can service low income customers. You might be surprised how this can sustain your business.

Selling to snap recipients comes with important legal duties designed to keep fraud out of the government benefits program. These obligations are not just for you.  They extend to your managers and all of your staff members. If anyone in your business gets caught committing acts of fraud, the government may mail you a “trafficking Charge Letter.” Responding to it promptly and properly is paramount.

Why Did I Receive a Trafficking Charge Letter?

Trafficking can happen in the form of purchasing EBT benefits from your customers. The recipients accept cash from you and, in some cases, they may then buy products that they are not allowed to buy with their EBT card. Trafficking in snap benefits also includes using a recipient’s EBT card to purchase inventory and then reselling those items to other stores or customers. In some trafficking exchanges, a snap beneficiary may offer to sell you their benefits in exchange for firearms, bullets or illicit drugs. Grocers can permanently lose their ability to receive EBT benefits for participating in trafficking.

The Charge Letter shows up when agents of the Food Nutrition Service (FNS) or the state agency find that you have violated snap rules. The FNS often employs undercover purchasers from whom they get Information on which to base their charges. Undercover customers will approach your you are your staff members, pretending to be EBT customers to see if you or your employees break rules. They could either offer to sell their benefits to you or see if you ask to buy them. Some evidence of your violations can derive from EBT recipients who report you or data obtained from EBT records that are analyzed by computers to spot habits and patterns in the transactions.

Apart from trafficking, snap violations can include failing to post prices, charging EBT customers different (usually higher) prices than other customers, segregating EBT customers into specified checkout aisles and accepting EBT payments for nonfood items. Your customers are forbidden from using snap benefits to purchase beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, other tobacco products, hot, prepared foods or meals at restaurants (Their are some exceptions in restaurants in some communities that offer reduced-price prepared meals to low-income or homeless people).

How You Need to Respond

The Trafficking Charge Letter that you receive will inform you, in addition to the reasons for the trafficking charge, of your options. The government may afford you the option of paying a civil monetary penalty instead of being permanently disqualified from the SNAP program altogether. You have just ten (10) days from the date of delivery of the letter to ask the FNS to impose the less drastic alternative. If you don’t reply at all, you waive your right to choose. Bear in mind that trafficking normally ends up in a permanent disqualification from participating in the SNAP program. This means you can never enter the program again. 

To see if you are eligible for the less drastic penalty, the agency will take into account the extent you create or attempt to create a culture of obedience to snap legislation in your business. The criteria includes the way in which you respond to violations and what you have put in place or have done to make certain that employees remain compliant – before there can be a violation. Our SNAP violation lawyers can assist you in collecting the necessary evidence so you can meet the criteria for avoiding permanent disqualification.

Policy Standards for Compliance

FNS wants to see documented proof of your store policies for handling SNAP benefits. Do employees who violate snap rules face sanctions or dismissal? What do you do to correct mistakes or violations? What procedures do you have in place in your store for internally reviewing EBT transactions?

Your history of compliance is very relevant in the decision of whether you can avoid permanent disqualification. If it’s a first offense, you can persuade FNS to simply levy a monetary penalty instead of barring you entirely from the snap program. If the proprietors knew about or benefited from a previous trafficking violation, you are more likely to suffer disqualification. Also, avoidance of disqualification cannot occur if weapons, ammunition or controlled substances were part of the trading of EBT benefits. Extensive trafficking or circumstances that involve significant amounts of money are also highly likely to draw disqualification.

Compliance Training

To be eligible for the penalty option in lieu of disqualification, you need to show the FNS that you took the steps to train your staff about the snap rules. This includes your managers and all of your employees whose position and duties include handling EBT cards, such as cashiers. Your training program should include detailed written instructions against accepting EBT benefits for firearms, ammunition, or controlled substances.

In this respect, documentation of the training programs or education is crucial. Your logs must show that the employees were trained by you on snap rules before the violation occurred. Your files must clearly show dates of hire and training of each staff member. As a step in your training program, you could even furnish a copy of publications or regulations from FNS to each new hire. Get a signature form each one acknowledging receipt of the bocklet and any other written materials.

After replying to the Charge Letter, FNS will decide whether to move forward with the permanent disqualification or charge you the monetary fine instead. If they opt for the former, your disqualification takes effect right away. Once this happens, you won’t be able to participate in SNAP even if you go through with an appeal through administrative or judicial review. In the event that either forum yields a reversal of the disqualification, FNS does not reimburse you for the sales you lost during the review period.

On the other hand, if you are eligible for the civil monetary penalty and you appeal the  trafficking charges, you may continue to receive EBT funds for your customers’ purchases until the reviews are complete.

After the Charge Letter

Again, you have a mere ten (10) days after FNS delivers its written decision to request an administrative review. An FNS reviewer will determine whether to uphold the action or reverse it.

If the FNS reviewer maintains that you should be disqualified or should be subject to other penalties for trafficking, your next option is judicial review. You must request this by filing a lawsuit in state court or federal district court within thirty (30) days after the reviewer’s decision is served on you. Our lawyers can help you to start the lawsuit and prepare for the trial.

A Charge Letter for snap trafficking is an extremely grave threat to your business. The deadlines to act run quickly and require prompt, thorough and decisive action on your part. Call one of our snap attorneys for help navigating through this process.

Charle Butler
Charle Butler
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!



Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.

Hear From Our Clients

"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
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