Attorney Charged with Filing Fraudulent ADA Lawsuits

Federal Prosecutors in New York have arrested and charged an attorney with filing fraudulent lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Stuart Finkelstein stole the identities of two individuals that he never actually represented and filed over 300 lawsuits in both the Southern District of New York and the Southern District of Florida. All of the lawsuits alleged that the individuals were denied access to certain public establishments due to ADA noncompliance. However, federal prosecutors allege that Mr. Finkelstein was never retained by the two individuals, was never authorized to file the lawsuits on their behalf, and that the individuals never actually attempted to visit the businesses in question. All told, Mr. Finkelstein collected approximately $930,000 in attorneys’ fees from the lawsuits. Mr. Finkelstein is charged with mail fraud, aggravated identify theft, obstruction of justice, and false declarations to a court. More information can be found on the Department of Justice website: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/attorney-charged-filing-fraudulent-lawsuits-under-americans-disabilities-act