More than three years after their initial arrests, a family of
tow truck operators accused of scamming unwitting motorists out of
hundreds of thousands of dollars will stand trial for their alleged
More than three years after their initial arrests, a family of tow truck operators accused of scamming unwitting motorists out of hundreds of thousands of dollars will stand trial for their alleged crimes.
After being bounced around the court system for years, the case will head to trial in August and will likely last about four months, Deputy District Attorney Dale Lohman said. With a date in mind, she can finally start sending out subpoenas to the 50-plus witnesses she’ll be calling to the stand.
Vincent Cardinalli Sr., 66; his son, Paul Greer, 32; his daughter, Rosemary Ball, 35; and her husband, Michael Ball, 39, face 158 counts of conspiracy, forgery, perjury, attempted grand theft and other felony charges stemming from a tow-and-sue scheme the family used to parlay their towing and collections businesses into a gold mine, according to court documents. If convicted on all counts, Cardinalli faces nearly 187 years in prison, Greer nearly 43, Rosemary Ball more than five and Michael Ball nearly four.
Cardinalli was originally arrested in June 2007, along with his accomplices, on 88 felony counts. He then posted bail but was subsequently re-arrested in January 2008 after the court discovered, thanks to reporting in the Hollister Free Lance, two arson convictions in 1979.
Since then, Cardinalli has been sitting in a Santa Clara County Jail cell awaiting his day in court. Cardinalli represented himself during a five week preliminary hearing that, at times, inched along while he stumbled through his own defense. About a month ago, Cardinalli heeded the advice of Superior Court Judge Gilbert Brown and secured attorney Tammy Miller-Holmgren through the county’s Independent Defender’s Office. Miller-Holmgren will need months to plow through a mountain of evidence, she and other attorneys said.
Cardinalli has stated his intent to file for a reduction in bail at a meeting next month, Lohman said. Cardinalli’s bail is currently $500,000, according to the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections.
“I’ll be opposing that,” Lohman said. “There hasn’t been a change in circumstances that would warrant a revisiting of his bail.”
The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 18 in Department 32 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose.