Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
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.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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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.
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.
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How to Handle a SNAP Violation Letter
If your grocery store is licensed to accept EBT, then you should be in the market for a SNAP Violation Defense Attorney. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will send out snap Violation Letter in the event that they believe a EBT/SNAP participant has violated the regulations. In the letter, the Department will charge you with any number of violations of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). They may have also attached a stack of pages to the back of your snap Violation Letter that detail hundreds, if not thousands, of transactions which they believe to be evidence of any of several categories of snap violations.
What you should do right after receiving a snap Violation Letter is call our offices for a free consultation at (813) 228-0658. A shop proprietor only has TEN (10) days to respond to the charge letter. If that time passes and you don’t respond, then the government is likely to suspend or revoke your ability to accept EBT.
The snap program
snap is short for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It’s purpose is to provide participants with a set value of monetary food benefits every month. These benefits are disbursed through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) transaction card that resembles and works similarly to a traditional debit card. There are, however, a few extremely important distinctions as follows:
The EBT cards replaced the Food Stamps as the method of disbursing nutrition assistance to benefit recipients in the late 1990’s. They are distributed by the state in which the snap participant resides. Though the program appears to be governed uniquely in every state, it is really administered on a national level by the United States Government and simply implemented individually by the state governments.
The SNAP program, and the benefits associated with it, are governed by both the United States Code (7 U.S.C. Chapter 51) and by the Code of Federal Regulations (7 C.F.R. §278). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) is the agency that enforces the rules and runs the program in general.
How We Defend Against a snap Violation Letter
We have handled a myriad types of snap Violation Defense cases for our clients, and we have experience in all three phases of a snap Violation action that your store may be faced with:
Phase 1: The Charge Letter. The first step in an action by the USDA to revoke your store’s EBT license is the snap Violation Letter. This may come with or without prior warnings, and can appear at any moment. A Charge Letter can contain any number of different types of allegations, but the majority of them detail a series of factual allegations with attachments that show more details. Your response to the snap Violation Letter must be remitted within ten (10) days of the date you receive it. After you retain one of our lawyers, our office assumes responsibility for all communications with the USDA, for gathering all relevant evidence (as needed), and then the drafting and dispatching of a complete and accurate response to the USDA.
Phase 2: Administrative Appeal. In the event that, after reviewing your store’s answer to the snap Violation Letter, the USDA maintains that a violation has occurred, then the Department will send out a second letter which outlines its decision to suspend or disqualify the store based upon the allegations laid out in the first letter. Again, you have only 10 (ten) days to appeal this decision. Not responding to the letter can result in the store being stuck with the USDA’s decision to suspend or disqualify the store from accepting EBT. Once you hire us, our office will file the required paperwork with the USDA to let their Administrative Review Agency know that we intend to appeal the decision. Our office will gather any additional evidence on your behalf that will strengthen your appeal, and we will draft the appellate brief with all of the evidence, case law, regulatory and federal code, and additional information that is appropriate to demonstrate that the initial decision was inaccurate.
Phase 3: Judicial Appeal. The USDA might still refuse to overturn the first decision in the Administrative Review. At that stage, what remains is for you to file a Judicial Review in the local Federal District Court. The Judicial Appeal operates like a routine court case in that we will have the opportunity to conduct discovery, file our motions and go to trial before a judge. Our lawyers have handled a number of these cases in different states and, depending on what state your store is in, we can handle your case.
SNAP Violation Letters – What Not to Do
SNAP is one of the most widely used of all government programs. This program allows many American families to avoid a hole in their food budget. The program is administered by the federal government in order to ensure that all American families get enough to eat each day. Part of the process of administering the program is working directly with retailers. Retailers can choose be part of this program if they want. Any retailer who decides to accept SNAP payments from their customers is choosing to be part of an official government program. This means they are agreeing to follow all necessary procedures that govern the use of food stamps.
These rules can be extremely complex. They can also change over time. All retailers must keep in mind that they have the right to participate under federal law. However, this right can be revoked under certain circumstances. If the retailer is found to be in violation of SNAP procedures, they may face all kinds of unwanted penalties. That includes fines and the revoking of their ability to accept SNAP payments for a period of time. This may be for a few weeks, a few months or even a few years.
A SNAP Violation Letter
The federal government is always examining all SNAP records. They want to make sure that no recipients are using these funds in ways not allowed under the terms of the program. For example, people who are given food stamps are not allowed to buy items ranging from firearms or tobacco to items made of paper. They are also not allowed to exchange the value of the food stamps for cash. Each grocery store owner is trusted with making sure the recipient follows these rules. If the store owner is suspected of not doing so, they may receive what is known as a charge letter. The SNAP violation charge letter is sent to retailers who are suspected of violating any SNAP administration laws. This letter includes a cover letter followed by a list of any charges. The recipient only has ten days to respond to it.
A letter of this kind can feel quite shocking. In many instances, a store owner is not aware that something is amiss. The store owner should be aware that this kind of letter deserves a lot of attention. It may be tempting to react quickly and rashly. However, it is better to take some time to think about what is happening and how best to respond to it. There are certain things you’ll want to do immediately. There are also certain things that you should not do at all. Any retailer should understand some actions can make things worse for them. That is why a careful understanding of these issues is vitally important. The retailer needs to know that such a letter is a very serious matter. Failure to respond in the right way can make it much harder for the retailer by increasing the chances they will lose access to this program.
Bear in mind that if federal officials are sending a letter of this type, they believe they have enough evidence to respond. This is not a warning letter. It is notification that the grocery store owner will be charged with wrongdoing. That is why it is crucial to avoid contacting officials without the help of a lawyer. There is no such thing as an off the record conversation. Officials are monitoring everything the grocery store owner says to them. Any conversation, if there is to be one, must be one in which each word is delivered intentionally. Such a conversation may be used against you if the official decides you are admitting guilt.
Another thing to remember is the agency will not offer to negotiate with you in any way even if you get in touch with them and offer to agree to certain penalties right now. They have evidence and they want to see that you are given the penalties required by law. You cannot offer to simply drop out for a week or so and expect officials to respond with an agreement to let you do so. It’s better examine the website if you have any questions. The site has a long list of regulations as well as answers to common questions for participating grocery stores. The site is updated on a routine basis, making it easy to see the latest federal regulations without speaking with anyone at the agency.
It’s also crucial not to admit that you’ve done anything wrong. The feds, like everyone else, are fallible. They make mistakes. It is entirely possible that someone misread information or misunderstood a conversation at your store. It’s also possible that a computer malfunctioned or someone accidentally put in wrong data. You should not suggest your employees are guilty of acting wrongly. As the store owner, it is your responsibility to train them. You are responsible for any negative outcomes. This is true even if you were not there when the violation happened. You are still responsible for any mistakes. The feds will hold you to the agreement you made when you agreed to be part of this program.
Above all, it’s best to have someone with you to help make sense of these charges. Any kind of SNAP violation will lead to your inability to accept SNAP payments for at least a few weeks and probably longer. This can push away even your most loyal customers. They are not going to patronize your store if they can’t pay for items. A skilled lawyer will help you avoid creating any further problems with the federal SNAP program.
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