SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — A Northern California attorney who has sued thousands of small businesses for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act has been indicted on charges that he filed fraudulent tax returns on income from the lawsuits.
The Sacramento Bee reports that attorney Scott N. Johnson was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury with three counts of making and subscribing false tax returns.
The indictment alleges that Johnson understated his income from 2012 to 2014 from settlements of lawsuits filed under the ADA.
Johnson, a quadriplegic who forced ADA improvements at businesses around Northern California, faces up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine for each count.
Back in 2017, KPIX 5 found that Johnson filed more than 2,000 lawsuits going back to 2004.
Dominic Speno, owner of a Best Western hotel in Patterson was one of those subject to a lawsuit by Johnson.
“He might as well have just brought a gun with him and said stick ’em up because essentially that is what this is about, this is a stickup!” Speno told KPIX 5 at the time.
Johnson’s attorney, Malcolm Segal, said they will respond in court but believe the IRS got Johnson’s taxes wrong.
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