Posted on March 18, 2013

Alfredo Garcia, Undocumented Serial Plaintiff, Caught in Another Lie

Marc Brown, ABC Los Angeles, March 15, 2013

He’s filed more than 600 ADA lawsuits against small business owners in Southern California, but now, the serial plaintiff, illegal immigrant and convicted felon may be out of business himself. He has stopped filing news ADA lawsuits, but not before he was caught in another lie.

Alfredo Garcia has been ordered back to Mexico. Garcia was arrested on immigration violations in February 2011. But while his case–and now his appeal–work through the courts, Garcia remains free. He is monitored but not incarcerated.

“This guy doesn’t work. He’s been here for past how many years? And making money off American citizens,” said the owner of Trimana.

He wants to fight Garcia’s $4,000 lawsuit in court.

“I talked to the lawyer, and he said it will cost probably more money to fight it, but we’re trying to fight it,” the business owner said.

According to court documents, Garcia has filed at least 615 lawsuits involving the Americans with Disabilities Act, and taxpayers are paying for them.

In each of the hundreds of cases Eyewitness News has reviewed, Garcia requested and was granted a fee waiver from the court. That’s about $300 per case and a grand total of more than $193,000. {snip}

The hearings themselves are closed to the public, but transcripts obtained by Eyewitness News suggest Garcia perjured himself in court. Garcia claimed under oath that he made $16,500 in lawsuit settlements in 2008. But Eyewitness News sorted through hundreds of cases and court documents to learn Garcia really made $125,000 in lawsuit settlements that year.

“He’s making a lot of money, and he’s making a lot of money that he’s not reporting to the courts and probably to the IRS,” said Pasadena attorney Jim Link.


Link calculates that if Garcia continues to collect from these lawsuits at the same rate as he has in the past, he would make $1 million when he resolves all of his 615 cases.

Garcia testified in a case that he typically collects about $2,000 per case, and that’s after his attorney takes half. Morse Mehrban, Garcia’s longtime attorney, estimates that 75 percent of his law practice is based on ADA lawsuits.


Court records show Mehrban’s law firm has filed about 30 percent of all ADA lawsuits filed in L.A. County since 2010.


Mehrban has filed every one of Garcia’s more than 600 ADA lawsuits, and his firm assists in the filing of Garcia’s fee waiver applications. But Mehrban seems to blame the court for not knowing that Garcia is making too much money to qualify for fee waivers.

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about that,” Mehrban said. “The court is fully aware of what he’s been making. The court knows he’s filed 600-something cases.”

Transcripts from Garcia’s fee waiver hearing in December 2011 show Garcia told the commissioner, “It’s not much money. It’s a struggle trying to make it.”

Mehrban prepared one court document detailing settlements and judgments paid out to Garcia in 2007 and 2008. It adds up to $169,500. When asked if he knew that Garcia made too much to qualify for a fee waiver, Mehrban responded, “I don’t keep track of every client and how much they’re making. When there’s a settlement, of course, I learn what the settlement is.”


Garcia said Friday that he has stopped filing new lawsuits, but according to court records, he still has about a dozen pending lawsuits. He has also collected at least 31 settlements in the past year.

The judge ordered Garcia to start paying half of his court fees.