Fraudulent lawyer Stuart Finkelstein: An infamous ambulance-chasing attorney has been sentenced to a four-year prison term following a 2019 expose by The New York Post. The man is said to have orchestrated nearly 300 fraudulent lawsuits under the guise of the Americans with Disabilities Act in New York and Florida.
The verdict was delivered to Stuart Finkelstein, 68, by Manhattan federal judge Paul Gardephe on Thursday, August 3. In addition, the court has mandated that he pay over $800,000 in fines and forfeitures, and he will be subject to post-release monitoring for a period of three years. Judge Gardephe will decide on the specific amount of restitution that Finkelstein must pay in the future.
Stuart Finkelstein gained $650k frauding innocent clients
Hailing from Davie, Florida, Finkelstein pleaded guilty in July 2022 to a single count of mail fraud. This charge pertains to a scheme wherein he masterminded the filing of numerous lawsuits under the names of two unsuspecting individuals unaware that he was purporting to act on their behalf.
The consequences of Finkelstein’s fraudulent actions were severe because, through the forced settlement agreements he forced numerous firms into, he caused them financial harm totalling more than $1.5 million. His personal benefit from these frauds, though, was astounding, totalling $650,000, as the case’s prosecutor noted. In addition, Finkelstein blatantly lied to himself in the courtroom in an effort to hide his allegedly fraudulent acts, according to federal authorities. Finkelstein might have received a maximum 20-year prison sentence if he had been found guilty after a trial.
Stuart Finkelstein charged with mail fraud, identity theft, and obstruction of justice
Finkelstein’s duplicitous actions were brought to light by The New York Post in 2019 when the publication uncovered his manipulation of over 25 lawsuits purportedly on behalf of clients such as Jose Figueroa. Shockingly, Figueroa, who had been rendered wheelchair-bound following spinal surgery, remained entirely oblivious to the fraudulent lawyer’s legal maneuvers carried out in his name without his consent. Prosecutors revealed that Finkelstein’s, who was arrested in 2019, elaborate scheme had been executed between 2013 and 2016, involving the unauthorized utilization of two individuals’ identities.
Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams said, “Stuart Finkelstein, a practicing attorney, filed hundreds of fraudulent lawsuits in which he brought false claims of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is meant to protect vulnerable members of our community against discrimination. Finkelstein has now been held accountable and is facing prison time for his brazen scheme,” in a statement. Among the charges brought against Finkelstein were mail fraud, identity theft, and obstruction of justice, painting a comprehensive picture of his illicit activities. Notably, Finkelstein’s legal career had been marred by previous misconduct as he was disbarred in New York in 2007 due to allegations of impropriety. However, he was reinstated in 2016, only to continue down a path of deceit and exploitation.