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USDA SNAP CMP – Civil Money Penalty

The United States of America is a place that has long welcomed people of diverse backgrounds. Part of this welcoming process is ensuring that all those who live there have access to enough calories to sustain themselves. American government officials aim to help people with certain programs. One of those programs is what is known as SNAP.

Understanding SNAP

The purpose of SNAP is to provide a means for people to buy food. They are given cards known as EBT or Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. These cards are widely accepted at retailers all over the country.

Regulations and Retailers

When retailers accept this kind of payment, they are agreeing that they will abide by the laws that govern the process. Regulations determine what can be purchased. These regulations also detail other processes such as how much money the person is allotted for items each month as well as how the recipient may choose to spend that fund in any period. Retailers often rely on these funds for a greater part of their overall business model. When the regulations are breached, it can mean that the company is facing issues from the government that can lead to fines or even an inability to participate in the program entirely.

Potential Fines

The possibility of being removed from participation in this program is a daunting one for any retailer in any state. Retailers who are not allowed to be part of the SNAP program may rapidly lose customers. This can put them at a huge disadvantage in the short term as well as leading to a massive loss of business in their community over time.

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.

Civil Monetary Penalty

Officials who govern the program have realized what not being allowed to participate in the program can mean for retailers across the country. They have made the decision to allow certain retailers to continue to participate in SNAP even if they have been found guilty of violating certain rules. This is what is known as a Civil Monetary Penalty. The penalty is one that lets any retailer step up to the plate and indicate they can will agree to adhere to the requirements necessary in the future. It is a form of trust indicating that the issue was a one-time thing and one that is not likely to happen again. In return for paying this fine, the retailer must agree to put certain conditions in place in the store.

Retailers’ Obligations

Retailers need to agree to the following:

  • There must be a policy about all aspects of SNAP conveyed to the employees in writing.
  • These policies need to be updated once the rules governing SNAP change in any way.
  • The policies must be made clear to the employees.
  • The employer must be able to answer any questions the employees might have about any issues pertaining to the use of SNAP benefits in writing.

All store owners who want to be able to pay the fines rather than face being permanently removed from the program need to illustrate prior compliance with this policy. Company owners can demonstrate this by showing evidence such as having dates and signatures indicating that employees were always informed about all relevant SNAP issues.

Store owners also need to have a specific program that shows how to respond to issues surrounding the use of EBT cards to employees before they are hired. This means there needs to be evidence that employees understood how to respond to this kind of payment even before they were allowed to deal with the cards in a real-life setting. The program should include evidence that all employees understood what was required in writing after the training period was finished. A signature can be used as evidence this policy was carried out.

There is a fourth requirement for the ability to pay a fine rather than being not allowed to part of the SNAP program. Company owners and managers should be able to show that neither the owner nor the manager of the store knew about any violations nor received any benefit as a result of the violations that took place.

Responding to Violations

All those who might wish to apply for this form of help should keep in mind that the time frame is very short. Other government programs may take months or even years to resolve. Any violation of the SNAP program will come in the form of a notification sent in the mail. This is known as a SNAP Violation Letter. This letter may be a detailed document listing exactly what violations are alleged to have happened. The letter will also detail when they happened and what each violation consists of according to the investigator. There also may be varied kinds of regulations that are divided into categories. Each one can be considered a separate violation of the law.

Those retailers who get a letter of this kind only have ten days where they can respond to the charges leveled in the document. That’s not a long time. A retailer may be caught by surprise. The suddenness of the allegations is scary. That’s why it is imperative to contact legal help as soon as the letter arrives. A skilled defense lawyer can help any company figure out what they are being accused of by the government and what might happen to them as a result of such allegations. They will carve a path for them for them to follow.

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