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News Posted on January 12, 2011

Greg Adler '04 Helps to Jail ‘Tow Scam Artist'

Greg Adler '04 played a key role in the arrest and conviction of a Hollister man recently sentenced to 14 years in prison for using his tow truck and the Santa Clara County legal system to defraud hundreds of people by filing phony lawsuits against them.  Vincent Cardinalli was convicted of 99 counts of fraud, perjury, and extortion in connection with a scam in which he and his son towed vehicles-often from the owner's driveway or apartment parking space, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News-and then allowed storage fees to pile up before suing former owners for fees. 

Cardinalli, the Mercury News wrote, "had been awarded more than $1 million by a South County commissioner who sided with him in all but two of the suits and ignored obvious signs of the scam. It took a young attorney fresh out of law school to expose the lawsuit mill and force the courts to punish him." 

Adler, the "young attorney fresh out of law school," became involved after Cardinalli sued State Farm Insurance over two cars the company no longer owned.  Adler, who worked for, which sold the cars for State Farm, became suspicious when he observed the sheer number of suits filed by Cardinalli and began interviewing defendants.

"Adler put in 1,200 hours of his own time to document the fraud and helped dozens of victims subpoena DMV records to prove their innocence," according to the Mercury News article.  "In the end, he presented prosecutors with convincing examples of how unwitting victims found themselves trying to fend off the onslaught of lawsuits... Adler also helped persuade the courts to declare them vexatious litigants, or legal pests, limiting their ability to file lawsuits."

"I just happened to be the right guy at the right time who put the puzzle together,'' Adler told the Mercury News." The system failed miserably.''

San Jose Mercury News article