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Resource ID: #19579
Subject: Criminal Justice System
Source: Riverfront Times (St. Louis)
Date: 2002-07-24



A con man with 27 felony convictions decided to shift his act over to fleecing prisoners and their families. John Gary Tiller previously took advantage of banks and small businesses but when he formed the Civil Rights Legal Defense Team he found a con that would get little criticism. The CRLDT was a law firm that advertised help for inmates and their families in fighting for their release. Once the families or prisoners paid money upfront Tiller's law firm would disappear or perform very little work. As a law firm it was a sham anyway since Tiller did not hold a law degree. Only one member of the CRLDT actually was a lawyer and he was disbarred. Tiller got away with all of it. Fleecing businessmen was illegal but taking advantage of inmates was not as big a deal.

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