In the midst of his discrimination lawsuit, Yehudah Adler now faces four counts of embezzlement charges.
Yehudah Adler, an Orthodox man from Southfield, has recently been in the spotlight for suing American Airlines for escorting him and his family off a flight from Miami to Detroit because of what the airline deemed their “extremely offensive body odor.”
Now, Adler is facing a different legal dilemma: four counts of embezzlement charges that he allegedly committed in 2015 while he was employed for 1-800-LAW-FIRM in Southfield.
The complaint against Adler was filed on Feb. 11, 2020 for incidents that have allegedly occurred since Sept. 1, 2015.
Adler appeared in the Southfield 46th District Court in front of Judge Shelia Johnson on Feb. 18. He is facing two counts of embezzlement of $100,000 or more, one count of embezzlement of $50,000-$100,000 and embezzlement by an agent or trustee of $20,000 or more, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper told the Jewish News.
Attorney Mitchell Ribitwer is representing Adler for this criminal case. Adler will appear back in court Wednesday, Feb. 26 for his preliminary conference. Ribitwer could not be reached for comment.
1-800-LAW-FIRM’s founder, Ari Kresch, is the son of two Holocaust survivors. The company specializes in personal injury, criminal defense, civil rights and more, with offices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
On Jan. 23, 2019, the Adler family was asked to deplane their American Airlines flight because of what the airline said were complaints about their body odor from passengers on board. According to the lawsuit filed on Jan. 28, 2020, the gate agent “made disparaging and derogatory statements, telling the Adlers that he knew that Orthodox Jews take baths once a week.”
The Adler family is suing American Airlines for discrimination based on race, religion and nationality. The lawsuit claims that the airlines “intentionally discriminated” against the Adlers, which left the family feeling traumatized. They are seeking compensation for emotional distress and punitive damages.
“I’m not certain how this will impact his [Adler’s] civil lawsuit,” Cooper said. “I haven’t practiced civil law in a long time, but one doesn’t have anything to do with the other.”
The Detroit Free Press reported that, according to Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton, the embezzlement case against Adler could lead to his impeachment as a witness in his civil suit if he is convicted of these crimes.
If found guilty of just one of the counts of embezzlement of $100,000 or more, Adler could face a fine of up to $50,000, or three times the amount embezzled. In addition to the fine, Adler could serve up to 20 years in prison for the one count.
“Adler could face some serious time, depending on a multitude of circumstances,” Cooper said. “If he is found guilty on one or all charges, his record and other circumstances could potentially lead to him facing a harsher punishment. But we won’t know what that is until the trial.”