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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.

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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.

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SNAP Trafficking Charge Letter

By Spodek Law Group | June 24, 2021
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:18 pm

How Spodek Law Group Can Help You Respond to a SNAP Trafficking Charge Letter

As a retailer in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you have the opportunity to service low-income customers, which can be an essential part of your business. However, selling to SNAP recipients comes with important legal duties designed to keep fraud out of the government benefits program. These obligations extend to your managers and all of your staff members, and if anyone in your business gets caught committing acts of fraud, the government may mail you a “trafficking Charge Letter.”

A trafficking Charge Letter can be alarming, but responding to it promptly and properly is paramount. The Charge Letter shows up when agents of the Food Nutrition Service (FNS) or the state agency find that you have violated SNAP rules, and the FNS often employs undercover purchasers to gather information on which to base their charges.

Trafficking can happen in various ways, including purchasing EBT benefits from your customers or 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. It’s important to note that grocers can permanently lose their ability to receive EBT benefits for participating in trafficking.

If you’ve received a Trafficking Charge Letter, it’s critical to respond appropriately. The letter will inform you of your options, which may include 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.

Our experienced SNAP violation lawyers at Spodek Law Group can assist you in collecting the necessary evidence so you can meet the criteria for avoiding permanent disqualification. We can help you demonstrate that you’ve created a culture of obedience to SNAP legislation in your business, including implementing policies for handling SNAP benefits, correcting mistakes or violations, and reviewing EBT transactions.

To be eligible for the penalty option in lieu of disqualification, you need to show the FNS that you took steps to train your staff about SNAP rules, including detailed written instructions against accepting EBT benefits for firearms, ammunition, or controlled substances. Documentation of your training programs or education is crucial, including logs showing that your employees were trained on SNAP rules before the violation occurred.

If you’re facing a Trafficking Charge Letter, don’t wait to take action. Our SNAP violation lawyers can help you navigate through this process and respond appropriately to protect your business. Contact Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek for help with your SNAP trafficking case.

What to Expect After Responding to a SNAP Trafficking Charge Letter

After you’ve responded to a Trafficking Charge Letter, the FNS will decide whether to move forward with permanent disqualification or charge you the monetary fine instead. If they opt for the former, your disqualification takes effect right away, and 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.

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 start the lawsuit and prepare for the trial.

A Trafficking Charge Letter for SNAP is an extremely grave threat to your business, and the deadlines to act run quickly and require prompt, thorough, and decisive action on your part. It’s essential to have experienced legal counsel who understands the law and can help you navigate through this complex process.

At Spodek Law Group, we have the experience and knowledge to handle your SNAP trafficking case. We understand the policies, standards for compliance, and compliance training required for SNAP retailers. We can help you build a culture of obedience to SNAP legislation in your business, including implementing policies for handling SNAP benefits, correcting mistakes or violations, and reviewing EBT transactions.

Our lawyers will work with you to collect the necessary evidence to meet the criteria for avoiding permanent disqualification. We’ll help you document your store policies for handling SNAP benefits, including what you do to correct mistakes or violations, and the procedures you have in place for internally reviewing EBT transactions.

We’ll also help you demonstrate that you’ve taken steps to train your staff about SNAP rules, including your managers and all of your employees whose position and duties include handling EBT cards, such as cashiers. Our lawyers can assist you in appealing the trafficking charges and preparing for the trial.

If you’ve received a Trafficking Charge Letter for SNAP, don’t hesitate to contact Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek for help. We’ll guide you through this process and protect your business’s best interests.

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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...

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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...

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