Scott Norris Johnson is a quadriplegic who used to work for the IRS and now practices law suing local businesses for failing to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As the lawyer filing these lawsuits, Johnson is entitled to at least a portion of the settlement money he receives from these lawsuits, but he is required to report that money on his income taxes. According to a recent lawsuit, Johnson knowingly failed to report that income on his taxes, thereby defrauding the U.S. government of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Johnson pleaded guilty to the charge of tax evasion and agreed to pay $250,000 in restitution and spend 18 months of home detention. The judge presiding over the case, John Mendez, insisted that Johnson be made to pay a fine in addition to the $250,000 in restitution and home detention. That was not part of the plea agreement, but Johnson agreed to pay the $50,000 fine Mendez wanted him to pay.
Mendez pointed out that the money is a drop in the bucket for Johnson, who has assets of $1.3 million and a monthly income of $81,000, thanks to all the ADA lawsuits he’s filing. Mendez was also concerned by Johnson’s lack of remorse for his actions, and pointed out that, were it not for his disability, he’d be serving up to three years in prison. Continue reading ›