Todd Spodek handled nationally televised case involving Alec Baldwin, and his stalker in court trial.View Article
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To put it lightly, SNAP violations should be taken seriously. Business owners who ignore snap violation letters, or don’t take this issue seriously, often end up losing their business. Most businesses rely immensely on EBT in order to survive. If you ignore the SNAP violation letter, it’s likely the USDA will permanently, or temporarily, suspend you. Even if you’re temporarily suspended, it’ll be for a long enough period of time that it seriously harm your business.
At Spodek Law Group, we help clients with everything from compliance to judicial appeals, as well as SNAP suspension, and disqualification. If you don’t take action, you’ll likely suffer. The U.S. Code and Code of Federal Regulations have specific rules which govern the use of EBT cards, and retail stores. Enforcement is carried out by the FNS, a division of the USDA.
In many of these cases, store owners are adhering to guidelines – yet are still accused of violating the law. The FNS will send a snap violation letter to you. If your store gets one of these investigation letters, you only have 10 days to respond. It’s critical you contact us.
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The Spodek Law Group understands how serious snap violations can be. If you get a SNAP fraud letter, it might mean that an investigation has already happened. Sometimes the USDA will send investigators to your store, and entrap your employees into making a mistake and selling you goods. In other cases, the USDA uses algorithms to see which type of products you're selling - and to see if those products are allowed. Usually the SNAP investigation begins with a complaint, or review of your records. It's likely that the FNS will find evidence which supports your case.
I would like to thank, Todd and Alex for all there dedication and hard work on my liquor store case. It was an uphill battle from the beginning. They worked very hard on my case and got me a very, very favorable outcome; they also got my friend a favorable outcome as well in her case. I was impressed with their services and how far they are willing to go for their clients.
I dealt with Danielle Mezzatesta a super awesome paralegal with the firm. I met with Danielle the same day I called for the consultation and her level of professionalism and knowledge was outstanding! She was very helpful and diligent throughout this entire process. Danielle was top notch in responding to my questions and concerns and made this process very easy and stress free. Within a two week time frame my divorce is officially complete.
I would absolutely recommend this firm. Todd was very candid and always kept me on the loop of what was going on. He met with me a couple of times for personal consultation to keep me at ease. He represented me whenever possible so that I didn’t have to take time off of work. I appreciate the honesty and availability and could not be happier with the outcome or the overall experience. I am glad I chose Spodek Law group to represent me.
I am very happy with the service and the atmosphere is extremely professional. The staff makes me feel welcomed every time I come and Todd Spodek is an excellent attorney. I am very glad I chose this firm to represent me and my company.
In any situation in which you are involved, getting disqualified is never good. The same holds true if you find yourself permanently disqualified from accepting EBT at your place of business, since disqualification from SNAP can haunt you for years to follow. In fact, there is a strong possibility this type of disqualification may impact you for the rest of your life, since it can affect your personal credit and reputation as well. If you find yourself facing allegations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that warrant permanent disqualification from SNAP, don’t take these allegations and ensuing threats lightly. To protect your legal rights from the very beginning, turn to a SNAP permanent disqualification attorney who is experienced in such matters.
Why is Permanent Disqualification So Serious?
Once you are disqualified permanently from accepting SNAP benefits at your place of business, plan on having this penalty follow you wherever you go for a very long time. Since this type of disqualification often results in many business owners closing their doors or even selling their businesses later on, the USDA has in place a Civil Money Penalty. Generally levied against business owners who have been found guilty of SNAP trafficking, this financial penalty can be levied against business owners for infractions that occurred decades earlier. Thus, if you assume the federal government will cut you some slack and forget about this penalty, don’t kid yourself. More often than not, the USDA is determined to send a message to other businesses by making an example of you and your situation. Since you should always seek out expert legal guidance in these matters, always trust the advice you receive from a knowledgeable SNAP permanent disqualification attorney.
What is SNAP Trafficking?
If the USDA comes along and alleges you and your business are guilty of SNAP trafficking, this means the federal government is alleging you traded cash in exchange for SNAP benefits, which is a very serious violation. If accused of this, the government will base its case either on an in-depth analysis of data from your store, or perhaps evidence gained from conducting undercover investigations at your store. Yet regardless of the circumstances, expect the government to aggressively pursue these charges against you in court, and to do all it can to permanently disqualify you from SNAP. To make matters worse, once you receive a letter in the mail charging you with trafficking, the government will only allow you 10 days notice to file your appeal, creating even more stress for you, your family, and your employees. Since procrastination is not the thing to do in these circumstances, schedule a meeting at once with a skilled SNAP permanent disqualification attorney who can give you sound legal advice.
What About Repeated Violations?
Although it is possible to be suspended from accepting EBT multiple times due to repeated violations, this happens quite rarely. However, SNAP rules do dictate that if your business is suspended three times, it will automatically turn into a permanent disqualification. Therefore, if your business has been guilty of previous violations, it is imperative you do what is necessary to avoid further problems with the USDA. If you believe you have been unfairly charged with SNAP violations, it is not the time to simply sit back and allow the government to take charge of your situation, since this could result in your financial ruin. Instead of letting this occur, hire an attorney whose advice you can trust to guide you through this very complex and frustrating situation.
How Will a Disqualification Impact My Life?
Once you have been permanently disqualified from SNAP, the impact will be long-lasting and severe in many ways. To begin with, your store’s EBT machine will be shut off, and you will never be allowed to accept SNAP again, no matter where you work, where you live, or if you choose to start another business years later. In fact, once this disqualification is attached to you, the USDA will not allow you to hold any position of authority in a store that accepts SNAP, so keep this in mind.
Along with this, your name will also be placed on the government’s System for Awards Management disqualification list, commonly known as the SAM List. Once this happens, expect to have it be almost impossible for you to ever gain employment with any company that does business with the federal government. Also, you will start to experience increasing difficulties obtaining SBA or even home loans, which will prevent you from getting your life back on track. Due to the severe nature of the penalties and how they will impact your life for decades to come, choose to aggressively fight any allegations made against you by the USDA. Since it is not uncommon for the agency to make mistakes in these matters, don’t assume you are automatically guilty. Rather, hire an attorney experienced in SNAP permanent disqualification cases and let them begin building a case that will let you emerge from this legal debacle a winner.
Two Types of Appeals
Finally, you will likely be dealing with two types of appeals following allegations of SNAP violations, these being the Administrative Appeal and Judicial Appeal. Like any legal matter of this nature, these will take time to reach a conclusion, so you will need to be patient during the process. Because of this, your attorney will also advise you to use good judgement along the way, such as not going on social media to vent your frustrations.
Rather than let the federal government ruin your life in so many ways, schedule a consultation with a SNAP permanent disqualification attorney who will work to ensure your business and reputation continue to be impeccable.
SNAP Appeal Attorney
If you own a store that accepts SNAP benefits from customers, you know about the numerous rules and regulations associated with this government program. Unfortunately, should the U.S. Department of Agriculture decide you have violated any of these rules or regulations, your store may be cut off from accepting SNAP benefits. If this occurs, you will likely lose a significant number of your customers, as well as the profits that go with them. Rather than let the federal government severely impact your store’s financial future, you should strongly consider hiring a SNAP appeal attorney to handle your case.
Why Should You Pursue an Appeal?
Once you receive a letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture informing you of its decision to prevent you from accepting SNAP benefits, it is vital that you not delay in seeking legal representation. In most cases, you will only have a limited number of days in which to file your appeal, so time is of the essence. Should you fail to meet the government mandated deadline to file your appeal, you will be unable to pursue your case any further, which could ultimately result in a loss of profits that could lead to you closing your business. By immediately contacting an experienced SNAP appeal attorney and discussing your case in more detail, you can learn if your case warrants an appeal, what options you may face along the way, and get a better idea of how your case may eventually be resolved.
Do All Situations Lead to an Appeal?
In some situations, your SNAP appeal attorney may examine your case and determine it does not warrant an appeal. However, the vast majority of cases involving SNAP violations are appealed, many quite successfully. Thus, whether your store has been temporarily suspended from accepting SNAP benefits, has been permanently disqualified from SNAP by the Department of Agriculture, or you have had your application to begin accepting SNAP benefits denied by the government, don’t assume all is lost. Instead, contact a SNAP appeal attorney at once to discuss your case and begin planning your legal strategy.
Why is an Application Denied?
If you submitted a SNAP application and had it denied by the Department of Agriculture, you may be at a loss as to why this happened. If so, you are not alone, since numerous business owners face this unpleasant surprise each year. As to why this happens, it is often due to mistakes on the part of the government. For example, your store may have been mistakenly categorized as an “ineligible firm,” your application may have been denied due to a family member’s prior suspension, or the government may have taken it upon itself to determine you and your store lack “business integrity and reputation.” Whatever the case may be, you should not sit back and let the government dictate this aspect of your business. To ensure your appeal is won and your reputation is restored, put your case in the hands of a knowledgeable SNAP appeal attorney.
Six Month Suspensions
While some SNAP suspensions are rather short, others may be for as long as six months or longer. When this happens, it essentially puts the store out of business, since the loss of profits is very severe during this time. If you have been informed of an upcoming six month suspension, don’t hesitate to contact a SNAP appeal attorney. If you procrastinate, the USDA may be able to turn the suspension into a permanent disqualification.
The most severe form of SNAP punishment utilized by the USDA, a permanent disqualification means that you will never be allowed to own or operate any type of store anywhere across the U.S. that accepts SNAP benefits. Used far more often than necessary by the USDA, you should never take this penalty lying down. Rather, you should vigorously fight any allegations of trafficking or other violations made by the USDA against you or your employees. To do so, work closely with a SNAP appeal attorney who has a track record of success getting these decisions reversed.
To rub salt into an already deep wound, the USDA may also levy large financial penalties against you and your business. In fact, these fines can be as much as $59,000 if you choose to close your business due to the problems initiated by the USDA. If you receive a letter stating these fines are looming, you will have only 10 days from the time you receive the letter to file an appeal. If you don’t appeal, the fines will be levied against you, with the government badgering you for every dollar they believe you owe.
A Complex Appeals Process
Needless to say, the federal government does not make it easy for store owners to appeal decisions regarding SNAP. In reality, it is one of the more difficult appeals processes in existence today. However, this does not mean it is impossible to win such cases. By first pursuing an Administrative Appeal and later a Judicial Appeal if necessary, you can emerge from this legal nightmare with your business and your reputation intact. However, since this is a complex process, your attorney will need plenty of time to gather the necessary evidence, develop a legal strategy, and have discussions with you regarding what to expect in the coming days and weeks. Therefore, as soon as you learn of a decision made against you by the USDA, contact a skilled SNAP appeal attorney as quickly as possible.
If you have chosen to answer a SNAP violation letter yourself but now have numerous questions and need sound legal advice, schedule a consultation with a SNAP appeal attorney who can take charge of your case.