FROM:
Stephen Gibbons, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Dale B. Lohman, Deputy District Attorney
Major Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2599    For release on June 14, 2007   SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN SOUTH COUNTY “TOW AND SUE” SCAM   Paul Greer, formerly known as Vincent Cardinalli, Jr., age 30, of Clovis, and Vincent Cardinalli, Sr., age 64, of Hollister were arrested yesterday following an eight month investigation by Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney and the California Department of Motor Vehicles.  The 88-count criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office on June 11, 2007, charges Greer and his father, Cardinalli, as well as other family members and an unrelated process server with multiple felony counts that include conspiracy to obstruct justice, conspiracy to cheat and defraud, perjury, embezzlement and attempted grand theft.   The complaint alleges that the defendants, through their fraudulent acts, parlayed $180 vehicle tow fees into small claims judgments collectively worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  They operated a small claims lawsuit “mill” in connection with their towing and collections businesses in the Gilroy and Hollister areas.  The scam spanned at least two counties and involved hundreds of small claims actions by B&C Towing, Inc., A&R Towing, Inc., and Professional Collections, Inc.  After towing vehicles, Greer and Cardinalli would sue people in small claims court for towing and accrued storage fees without having prior notice as required by law that the vehicle was going to be sold at a lien sale.  In many cases, the people they sued had no knowledge of the small claims case against them until after a judgment had already been entered.  Defendant Horan facilitated the fraudulent scheme by falsifying proofs of service for Greer’s use in court.   The complaint alleges that the defendants defrauded victims by concealing the proceeds of lien sales, seeking multiple judgments for the same loss, and knowingly suing people who had no connection to the vehicle towed.   The complaint alleges that that they also committed perjury by filing lawsuits in the name of non-existent corporations.     In addition to filing hundreds of small claims actions on behalf of their own companies, Greer and Cardinalli, who are not attorneys, represented local companies in small claims court falsely claiming to be employees of those companies.  Cardinalli is charged with unauthorized practice of law in connection with his representation of a Gilroy market in small claims court.   Greer’s bail is currently set at $250,000.  Cardinalli’s bail is set at $150,000.  If convicted on all charges, Greer could face over 29 years in state prison and Cardinalli could face 34 years in state prison.     If you believe you have been defrauded by either Paul Greer or Vincent Cardinalli, Sr., please contact D.A. Investigator Gilbert Vizzusi at (408) 792-2993 or Investigator David Keneller at (408) 792-2478.   ###

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