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If you’re a retailer who accepts EBT at your retail store, then you might have been the recipient of a a official notice from the USDA. This notice is most likely a SNAP violation letter, which is stating you have violated the SNAP program. The USDA will attach a number of pages to the SNAP violation notice, and it will have records of transactions that happened at your grocery store which the USDA claims violates one or more categories of violations.
After you get a SNAP violation notice, you must speak to our our legal team. It’s critical you understand, you only have 10 days to respond. If you choose to ignore, the government will terminate/suspend your stores privilege to accept EBT.
About The SNAP Program
This program helps families with a certain amount of money each month. The SNAP program benefits are given with an EBT card. The benefits on the EBT card aren’t for general use, and they cannot be used for fraudulent cash back transactions. The cards took the place of food stamps in the 1990’s and are issued by each state individually where the recipient lives. The program is operated on a national level by the government.
The program and it’s parameters are under handled by the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations. The USDA FNS agency enforces the regulations and runs the program.
What does it mean to have a SNAP violation
SNAP legal violations occur when a retail store is in violation of the rules below.
The retail store is accused ofthe trafficking of SNAP benefits. Examples of this is fraudulently accepting benefits, or theft of the benefits.
The grocery store accepted SNAP benefits in exchange for nonfood items like alcohol, tobacco, or other goods.
The store submitted false information on your store’s application to accept EBT benefits.
The grocery store took money for more coupons than food sales at the same time.
Your employees have taken SNAP benefits from an unauthorized person who isn’t allowed to use the benefits.
Defending against a SNAP Violation Letter
Spodek Law Group has experience managing SNAP violations letters. We can handle your SNAP violation process in all 3 phases of a SNAP action.
Sending the violation letter is the initial step taken by the USDA to remove your right to take EBT benefits. This letter may come with no warning and can appear at any time. The charging letter will have allegations in it, but most of them will detail serious allegations, have evidence attached proving the violations. You have only 10 days to respond. After you hire our law firm, our lawyers take into their hands all of the communicationswith the USDA and for compiling all the necessary evidence, and drafting a response to the USDA.
After reviewing the store’s answer to the SNAP violation letter, the USDA may still believe that a violation has occurred. If that happens, they’ll will issue a second letter that specifically states their legal verdict to suspend or disqualify the store based on the alleged violations. You have 10 days to appeal this. If you choose not to, you’ll be stuck with the USDA decision. Once you hire our law firm, our team the necessary paperwork and notify the government appeal the decision. Our lawyers gather necessary evidence, and we will draft generate the necessary appeals briefs which contains all of the legal laws, evidence, etc. which is necessary to change the outcome of the violations.
If the USDA refuses to override the legal decision, in the Administrative Review, we’ll file a Judicial review at the local Federal District Court. This process is like a normal case, where you’ll be able to do discovery, file motions, and have a trial. Our lawyers can handle these cases in all 50 states.
As a food store retailer, there’s a lot of rules and regulations you have to adhere to for EBT. In most cases, many grocery store owners don’t run into problems. However, the SNAP program can be tricky. SNAP handles the Electronic Benefits Transfer Card, and has limits on how the funds can be used. For example, people getting SNAP benefits cant purchase electronic goods. If, and when, you violate the laws, you’ll get a SNAP violation letter. Snap violation penalties can result in fines, and penalties. If you conduct a serious violation, then you might end up with a temporary or permanent disqualification. In many situations, store owners don’t even know the violations were even occurring. In many situations, dishonest employees who are misusing the SNAP EBT program. If you’re accused of a SNAP violation to consult with a SNAP violation appeals lawyer in order to make sure you don’t have your benefits revoked.
When a charge letter is delivered to your grocery store, you only have ten days to respond to the violations. Your failure to respond will permanently crush your store. If you don’t respond the USDA will generate a verdict even if you choose not to respond to the allegations. In the absence of a SNAP violation attorney, you won’t be able to retain EBT benefits. Retaining a SNAP violation lawyer gives you a fighting change. Our lawyers will discredit the decision of the USDA and appeal any penalties. The fines imposed can expensive – to the tune of ten’s of thousands of dollars. The USDA purposefully does huge fines to in order to curb future violations. The USDA will typically look to see if you have a compliance policy in place. The policy has to be in writing and in effect at the time the violations were filed.
The store owner must be able to prove the compliance policy was in existence before the allegations, and was not drafted after the violation letter. The USDA typically also looks in order to check if the retail store owners benefited in any way from the fraud, or if the business owners were aware of the fraud. Any involvement of the management can lead to disqualification.
We highly recommend any store that receives a allegation letter speak to with a SNAP violation attorney. Failure can result in negative consequences. The USDA is required by Congress to issue a disqualification for a period of up to 5 years. This can result in huge losses which are hard to recover from.
An awesome firm that truly cares about you. I thought I could handle the USDA on my own, but failed. Todd intervened and helped fix my mistakes.- Denton, CLIENT Denton