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Attorney Scott Johnson, Known For Filing Thousands Of ADA-Compliance Lawsuits, Charged With Tax Fraud

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Carmichael Attorney Scott Johnson, who is known for filing thousands of ADA lawsuits against businesses, was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday, charged with three counts of making and subscribing a false tax return.

Johnson owned and operated Disabled Access Prevents Injury Inc. (DAPI), a legal services corporation. According to the indictment, Johnson used DAPI and a law firm to file thousands of lawsuits in the Eastern District of California and elsewhere.

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He would name himself as the plaintiff in the lawsuits and make claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the California Disabled Persons Act, and the California Unruh Civil Rights Act against businesses.

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The DOJ said under the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, payments related to lawsuit settlements or awards are taxable unless they were paid on account of personal physical injury or physical sickness. Johnson allegedly underreported the taxable income he received from lawsuit settlements and awards on his income tax returns from 2012-2014. The court said by understating his income on his tax returns, Johnson and DAPI paid little to no income tax for three years.

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If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

Johnson is due in court on Wednesday. You can read the full indictment here. 

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