A controversial “advocacy” group filed more than 1,700 disability lawsuits as part of a multimillion-dollar fraudulent scheme and more hearings are needed to investigate, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
In a series of new court filings, the Attorney General’s Office asked a judge to grant evidentiary hearings and discovery against Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID) in order to sanction the group for its conduct.
“Plaintiffs and their counsel perpetrated a fraud on this Court through the mass-mechanical filing of over 1,700 copy-and-paste complaint containing false claims and false statements, all as part of a fraudulent scheme to make money,” state attorneys wrote.
In mid-February, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Talamante dismissed more than 1,000 lawsuits filed by AID. The decision came after a months-long legal battle between the group and the Attorney General’s Office, which consolidated and intervened in the cases after an ABC15 investigation.
After the ruling, the state said it planned to file for sanctions in order to hold AID accountable and re-cover legal fees.
In motions, the Attorney General’s Office said that sanctions for AID are warranted because of the group’s repeated legal mistakes, fabrications and fraud.
State attorneys also wrote that AID’s attorneys made up excessive legal fees and damages to drive-up settlement demands. Exhibits attached to the state’s motion also show that AID employees admitted that their lawsuits were “robo-signed.”
Peter Strojnik, lead attorney for AID, told the Attorney General’s Office that he plans to file his own sanctions motion against the state, records show.
Strojnik has repeatedly told ABC15 that he won’t answer the station’s questions because it is “fake news.”