Feds: Florida lawyer got almost $1M by filing fake lawsuits

Federal prosecutors in New York say a Florida lawyer collected nearly $1 million in fees by filing over 300 unauthorized lawsuits alleging violations of laws protecting disabled Americans.

Stuart Finkelstein was arrested Tuesday and released on $150,000 bail after a court appearance in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He lives in nearby Davie.  A message seeking comment was left with Finkelstein.

In a release, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman says Finkelstein stole two people's identities to file lawsuits in New York and Florida. The lawsuits claimed the people were unable to access public establishments because they did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A criminal complaint says Finkelstein collected about $930,000 in attorney fees as part of settlements reached in the fake suits.