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Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

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Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

How Forfeiture Works in Queens Federal Drug Cases

Overview of Forfeiture in Queens Federal Drug Cases

Forfeiture is the process by which property connected to criminal activity can be seized by law enforcement and forfeited (permanently taken away) from the owner. This often happens in federal drug cases prosecuted in Queens when property is believed to have facilitated drug crimes or been obtained with proceeds from drug crimes.There are two main types of forfeiture – criminal forfeiture and civil forfeiture. Criminal forfeiture happens after someone is convicted on federal drug charges, while civil forfeiture can happen regardless of a criminal conviction if there is evidence the property is connected to drug activity.Forfeiture can be a complex process with serious consequences. Anyone facing potential forfeiture of their cash, cars, homes, or other property in Queens federal drug cases should understand the process and consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

How Criminal Forfeiture Works

Criminal forfeiture is done as part of the sentencing following a federal drug conviction. This means prosecutors must first secure a conviction on felony federal drug charges, then seek to forfeit property connected to the crime.To forfeit property criminally, prosecutors must establish a “nexus” between the property and the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This means showing the property was used to facilitate the drug offense or that it represented proceeds from drug sales.Types of property subject to criminal forfeiture include:

  • Cash proceeds from drug sales
  • Vehicles used to transport drugs or conduct deals
  • Homes or businesses used to store or sell drugs
  • Bank accounts derived from drug proceeds
  • Other valuables purchased with money from drug sales

Criminal forfeiture can only be pursued after conviction on the federal drug charges. The judge determines if prosecutors have established the required link between the seized assets and the convicted drug crime. If so, the judge will issue a forfeiture order along with the sentence.

How Civil Forfeiture Works

Unlike criminal forfeiture, civil forfeiture does not require a criminal conviction and has a lower legal burden of proof. Law enforcement can pursue civil forfeiture if they believe property was involved in drug activity or represents illicit proceeds. The property itself is considered the defendant in civil forfeiture cases.To forfeit property civilly, the government must show “probable cause” of a connection between the assets and drug crimes. This is easier to establish than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard for criminal forfeiture.Common assets targeted for civil forfeiture include:

  • Cash, especially amounts over $5,000
  • Cars, boats, and other vehicles
  • Homes where drug activity allegedly occurred
  • Bank accounts with suspicious transactions
  • Businesses suspected of selling drugs

With civil forfeiture, property owners have limited defense options to contest the seizure. Most cases end in negotiated settlements where owners agree to forfeit part of the assets. If no settlement is reached, the government must prove its case in a civil bench trial.

Forfeiture Risks in Queens Federal Drug Cases

Queens has seen increased federal law enforcement focus on drug crimes in recent years. With this comes heightened risk of forfeiture for any cash, vehicles, electronics, jewelry and real estate connected to alleged drug activity.Even if no drugs are found, forfeiture is still possible. Assets purchased with presumed drug proceeds or used indirectly to assist drug crimes can be seized. For example, a car containing no drugs can still be taken if driven to alleged deals.Complying with forfeiture or accepting a settlement without legal advice is very risky. Innocent owners could lose property permanently despite no conviction or proven connection to crimes.Those charged federally for drug crimes in Queens should expect prosecutors to pursue both criminal and civil forfeiture very aggressively. This makes skilled legal help essential.

Fighting Forfeiture in Queens Federal Drug Cases

Retaining experienced criminal defense counsel is critical to challenge forfeiture in Queens federal drug cases. Key legal strategies lawyers can deploy include:

  • Fighting probable cause – In civil forfeiture, lawyers can argue the government failed to demonstrate initial probable cause justifying the seizure. This can get assets returned without further proceedings.
  • Asserting innocent owner defense – Those whose property was taken without their knowledge of illegal use can assert innocent owner claims. This also applies when illegal use was done without the owner’s consent.
  • Negotiating return of assets – Skilled attorneys can often negotiate agreements with prosecutors to get some or all property back without litigation. This leverages procedural problems or evidentiary weaknesses on the government’s side.
  • Going to trial – In both civil and criminal forfeiture, asserting and proving a defense at trial may defeat the forfeiture. While the government has legal advantages, their case is not bulletproof.

Relying on public defenders or going at it alone without legal advice usually leads to disastrous results in forfeiture cases. Federal prosecutors have all the resources and leverage under current asset forfeiture laws. Retaining experienced criminal forfeiture lawyers levels the playing field and gives property owners a fighting chance to keep their assets and defeat forfeiture attempts whenever possible under the law.


For more information on federal forfeiture in drug cases, check out the following legal resources:

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

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