California: “Lawyer, wife convicted in extortion plot against businesses”

“A California attorney and his wife were convicted of engaging in a scheme to extort minority, immigrant-owned businesses.” [Associated Press] “[Rogelio] Morales and [Mireya] Arias engaged in a scheme in 2016 to file ‘meritless gender discrimination lawsuits to pressure minority business owners into giving them thousands of dollars in alleged “settlements,”‘ a prosecution trial brief said. Prosecutors said Morales and Arias would obtain services from the small businesses they targeted — salons or dry cleaners — and if they were charged differently for the same service, they would file a lawsuit claiming a violation of a California anti-discrimination law, prosecutors said.” [Richard K. De Atley, Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.)]


  • This is a classic case where claims of discrimination based on different costs to men and women are bogus. Men’s shirts are pretty robust but women’s blouses are not. They have to be extra careful with women’s clothes and probably get lots of complaints that they damaged them. Same with haircuts–why in the world should they charge the same when most men have very little hair and want a simple cut? I now go to a men’s only haircut place Sport Clips because cheaper and they know how to cut men’s hair–can’t wait till they get sued.

  • can anyone tell me how this is extortion, and run-of-the-mill ADA non-compliance suits are not?

    • First thing I thought as well

  • Huh. I always thought that a husband and wife could not be convicted of the same crime.

  • meritless? Maybe that’s the difference?