Tow-and-sue scam sentence: Cardinalli gets 14 years

Paul Greer

A San Benito father-son tandem that pleaded no contest to using
their towing and collections business to scam hundreds of motorists
for almost a decade were sentenced Friday. Vincent Cardinalli, 67,
received a 14-year sentence, while his son Paul Greer, 33, was
handed an 8-year prison term.
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A San Benito father-son tandem that pleaded no contest to using their towing and collections business to scam hundreds of motorists for almost a decade were sentenced Friday.

Vincent Cardinalli, 67, received a 14-year sentence, while his son Paul Greer, 33, was handed an 8-year prison term.

Judge Gilbert T. Brown denied a Gilroy Dispatch request to photograph the sentencing hearing at 9 a.m. today at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

Cardinalli will have a separate restitution hearing March 25 in relation to the case.

According to prosecutors, the tow truck operators preyed on unwitting vehicle owners, including those who spoke little English, and targeted auto salvage company Copart, Inc.

Cardinalli and Greer filed hundreds of fraudulent lawsuits against motorists in Santa Clara and San Benito counties for storage, towing and lien sales fees on vehicles drivers did not own or sold years before the vehicles were towed, according to court documents.

The tandem often focused on marginal technicalities and frivolous arguments when defendants attempted to fight the lawsuits in small claims court, according to court documents.

Process sever Jeffery Horan, who pleaded no contest in June 2008 to conspiracy and six counts of perjury, falsified proofs of service by the tow truck operators, according to court documents.

Cardinalli’s daughter, Rosemary Ball, 35, also pleaded no contest to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, one count of perjury and one count of attempted grand theft, according to the district attorney’s office. Her husband, Michael Ball, 39, pleaded no contest to one felony count of attempted grand theft.

The Dispatch first reported on the family’s unorthodox business dealings in April 2006. Cardinalli and Greer were arrested in June 2007.

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