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Snap Permanent Disqualification Reversal Lawyers

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal government program that provides low income families with food assistance. SNAP, which was once called the Food Stamp Program, provides a nutritious diet for more than 40 million individuals in any given month in 2017, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Clearly, SNAP is a powerhouse. It is a staple in so many people’s lives. For so many of them, SNAP is their lifeblood.

SNAP has transformed small grocery or convenience stores into pillars in the community. Owners of such stores complete an application to become an authorized SNAP retailer. Applications are processed by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Once approved, the retailer can expect to receive timely reimbursements from the federal government. SNAP recipients’ benefits are placed on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Recipients use this card at participating SNAP retailers to purchase food. Only food can be purchased with this card. And, there lies the problem.

One day, a retailer receives a SNAP Trafficking Charge Letter from the USDA. Basically, the letter alleges that an investigation into the store’s EBT activities has been conducted and that it has been determined that the store has committed fraud, which is illegal. Evidence has been gathered by analyzing the store’s EBT data. Generally, such a letter is automatically generated when one of the following events occurs:

• The USDA’s computer system flags what is perceived to be an unusually large amount. The USDA does not define an amount that is considered to be too large. However, it is believed that $40.00 or more will trigger this event.

• The USDA flags transactions of even dollar amounts. For example, amounts like $25.00, $14.00 and $35.00 will be flagged because they have a zero-cent value on the end. In this case, a letter will not be sent until this event occurs a specific number of times. Although the USDA does not divulge the number, it is believed to be approximately 100 times, over a three-month span. Also, the cent value can be any number, as long as it is repeated numerous times.

• The USDA’s computer system flags transactions that occur within a short period of time. The USDA does not define short. However, 36 hours is believed to be the time frame. Transactions that occur within minutes of each other will surely be flagged.

• The USDA flags transactions that are manually entered. As far as USDA is concerned, not swiping an EBT card clearly indicates that the recipient does not have it in-hand, which constitutes fraud.

So many SNAP retailers find themselves in legal trouble with the USDA for committing fraud in the form of trafficking. Allowing the purchase of nonfood items with SNAP benefits constitutes trafficking. Trafficking also involves the selling of SNAP benefits for cash. Such violations can have a detrimental effect on a retailer’s business. A retailer could be fined, imprisoned or permanently barred from performing EBT transactions. Not being able to accept SNAP benefits could ruin a business.

For this reason, a SNAP retailer should immediately contact an attorney when the Trafficking Charge Letter has been received. Timing is pivotal. An attorney can immediately inform the retailer that the allegations are not set in stone and thereby can be refuted and overturned. At this point, the retailer has three options. It can be proven that the store is not involved in trafficking by surveillance video and customers’ testimonies regarding their buying habits. Or, the allegations can be appealed via a lawsuit. Or, it can be determined if the store qualifies for a civil monetary penalty, which must be requested 10 days after the retailer receives the Trafficking Charge Letter. A civil monetary penalty allows the retailer to pay a fine instead of being permanently disqualified from SNAP. However, the key to a civil monetary penalty is having evidence of a pre-existing SNAP training and compliance program. Having such programs already in place would suggest that an employee committed the trafficking violations without the retailer’s knowledge. At least this way, the retailer’s permanent disqualification can result in a reversal.


Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
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
2021-03-05
Verified
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
2021-03-03
Verified
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
2021-03-02
Verified
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
2021-02-26
Verified
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
2021-02-24
Verified
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.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
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
2021-02-23
Verified
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!

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"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..."

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"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."

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"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."

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