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NYC Food Stamp Fraud Attorneys

Are you facing allegations of food stamp fraud? The State of New York commonly investigates recipients to ensure compliance. If they see anything that does not line up with your application, then the compliance department will demand proof. If you cannot provide adequate documentation, then charges will be filed against you for food stamp fraud.

Individuals are not the only ones affected by these laws. A grocery or convenience store owner that accepts state benefits can also fall under scrutiny. Improperly taking food stamp benefits can be a felony and a challenge to defend. An allegation of fraud can affect your livelihood. Families can lose the only method they have to feed their family and stores risk losing shoppers. Thankfully, there is help available.

What Is Food Stamp Fraud?

New York’s welfare fraud laws prohibit any user of a public benefit card to commit a crime in association with benefits. The regulations governing this can be found under sections 158.00-158.50. Whether the offense will be punished as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the amount of money involved. If the funds are more than one million dollars, then the state will classify it as a class B felony. Most individual cases do not reach those levels, but when dealing with a convenience store, it can easily exceed the misdemeanor thresholds.

What does the state consider food stamp fraud? Well, anyone that makes a false claim on their application concerning their income or finances is guilty. Also, using someone else’s identity to apply for benefits is illegal. Using a food stamp card that belongs to someone else is also considered a criminal act. The state may choose to press larceny charges along with fraud in this instance.

The food stamp program is a way to help those who need assistance meeting their nutritional needs. If you trade your food stamps for other services or food for another family, then the state considers this to be fraudulent. Selling food stamps or using them as a bargaining tool is deceitful and is punishable by law.

Both Business and Individuals Are Often Investigated

Food stamp fraud allegations are not just for individuals. Businesses can also find themselves facing criminal repercussions. If the charges are found to be truthful, then the company will lose their ability to accept SNAP benefits. The livelihood of the business, as well as the customers that depend on this store, can be devastated.

Businesses that allow their customers to use SNAP benefits to buy hot, prepared foods can face charges. They cannot accept transferred foods stamps from one part to the next. Additionally, they cannot exchange cash for the value of the benefits either.

Helping Businesses Fight Back

A business owner must fight back to protect their image and store. You have a chance by making a response to the inquiry about the use. They need proof and a clarification of the allegations. You may have a guiltless account of what occurred. You can work your way through the courts, all the way to the civil level, to find resolve.

When it comes to preparing a response for the agency, an attorney can help. Whether it is paperwork or a formal hearing on your case, a well-trained lawyer can present the facts and help you negotiate a resolution. You may not lose your privileges to accept food stamps.

Helping Individuals Clear Their Name

Defending the allegations against food stamp fraud can be a difficult feat. The police and state lawyers may not understand what happened in your case. A lawyer can get them the evidence they need as well as help them see the truth of the issue. In many cases, this is all that is needed to resolve the matter.

Some people cheat the system, but they do not realize that they have committed a crime. Food stamp fraud can be accidental too. Did the law violate your rights to investigate this matter? If your lawyer finds that is the case, then they can file a motion to suppress any evidence obtained.

Hiring A Food Stamp Attorney

If you do not want to take your case to trial, then you can pursue a plea resolution to end the claim. Sometimes, even if there is a compelling case, the state will not want to mess with a trial. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate a resolution that will allow you to keep your benefits and clear your name. A food stamp fraud attorney can help you with the charges against you and come up with a plan to put this issue behind you.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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