State v. J.A. – First Degree Rape
For many retail businesses, federal food stamps are a big source of revenue. This is especially true for gas stations, small grocery stores, and convenience stores. Without the ability and authorization to accept food stamp benefits, your business would suffer considerably.
So when it comes to complying with federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) regulations, the stakes are high for authorized retailers. Owners of convenience stores and grocery stores who accept SNAP benefits as payment are responsible for full compliance with the regulations. Violations can lead to permanent disqualification, civil fines, and even criminal charges in some circumstances.
As the store owner, you’re responsible for violations, even if committed by employees, regardless of whether you had any knowledge of the violations, and regardless of whether you were inside your store at the time the alleged violation occurred.
In other words, you are 100% responsible in the eyes of the law, or at least the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has the authority to end EBT transactions as a form of revenue for your business.
One of the most serious – and most common – SNAP program violations is food stamp trafficking. This happens when a store employee:
Suspicious behavior can trigger not only an investigation by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service but also a potential referral to law enforcement for a criminal investigation.
The penalties for SNAP violations can range from temporary disqualification to permanent disqualification. This means your store won’t be able to accept EBT payments, eliminating a major source of revenue. Substantial civil monetary penalties can also apply.
Proactive measures are the best way to prevent SNAP violations and minimize the consequences should they still occur. Having a compliance plan and following through on it could mean the difference between staying in business and losing your store.
At Roberts Marcilliat & Mills PLLC, we can help you create a detailed compliance policy to safeguard your business against these and other SNAP program violations. Such a plan typically involves:
Thorough training is the bedrock of a solid compliance plan. Every cashier should know the USDA’s list of rules by heart before being allowed to accept EBT transactions. That is how you train your employees. Then, have your employees sign an acknowledgment of training before starting cashier duties. That is how you can prove to the USDA that you as the employer took adequate steps to ensure compliance with public assistance program rules.
Unfortunately, even with proper training, unscrupulous employees still sometimes commit violations of food stamp program regulations. As the employer, you may have to answer for their behavior. Still, if you have trained your employees properly on program regulations – and can prove that you trained them – you will have a much better defense if the USDA sends you a SNAP violation letter and threatens disqualification.
If your gas station, convenience store, or grocery store is currently under investigation for food stamp trafficking, or if you’ve received a SNAP violation letter, it’s critical to get a lawyer involved immediately. There may be numerous avenues for defending against potential sanctions. You need a strong and experienced advocate to stand up for your business.
Roberts Marcilliat & Mills PLLC is a BBB accredited firm with an A+ rating. Our award-winning attorneys know what it takes to fight for retailers who get into trouble with SNAP violations and food stamp trafficking. We understand the program regulations inside and out and, as a result, can help you put the right defensive strategies and compliance plan into place.
Based in North Carolina, we can help implement SNAP compliance programs for any store in the nation, via phone and email. We also provide employee training (online or on-site), advisory services, and defense against SNAP law enforcement actions by the USDA.
State v. B.S.: Not Guilty Verdict in First Degree Murder Case..
In this case, our client was charged with First Degree Murder in connection with a “drive-by” shooting that occurred in Charlotte, NC. The State’s evidence included GPS ankle monitoring data linking our client was at the scene of the crime and evidence that our client confessed to an inmate while in jail. Nonetheless, we convinced a jury to unanimously find our client Not Guilty. He was released from jail the same day.
State v. S.G.: First Degree Murder Charge Dismissed.
Our client was charged with First Degree for the shooting death related to alleged breaking and entering. The State’s evidence included a co-defendant alleging that our client was the shooter. After conducting a thorough investigation with the use of a private investigator, we persuaded the State to dismiss entirely the case against our client.
State v. B.D.: First Degree Murder Charged Dismissed..
After conducting an investigation and communicating with a prosecutor about the facts and circumstances indicating that our client acted in self-defense, the case was dismissed and deemed a justifiable homicide.
State v. I.R.: Reduction from First Degree Murder to Involuntary Manslaughter and Concealment of Death..
Our client was charged with the First Degree Murder of a young lady by drug overdose. After investigating the decedent’s background and hiring a preeminent expert toxicologist to fight the State’s theory of death, we were able to negotiate this case down from Life in prison to 5 years in prison, with credit for time served.
State v. J.G.: .
Our client was charged with First Degree Murder related to a “drug deal gone bad.” After engaging the services of a private investigator and noting issues with the State’s case, we were able to negotiate a plea for our client that avoided a Life sentence and required him to serve only 12 years.
State v. J.A. – First Degree Rape
State v. B.S. – First Degree Murder
State v. E.D. – Identity Theft
State v. J.A. – First Degree Rape
Each case is different and must be evaluated on its individual facts. We work hard to assess each case individually. Prior results do not guarantee any future outcome.
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