Why Does Cardinal Law Center Look So Coincidentally Sketchy?

A reader asked me about Cardinal Law Center. He is a business executive in the debt relief industry and received an email that mentioned Cardinal Law Center and Option One Processing.

The email said, “We are a full-service debt settlement back-end service provider with the most competitive commission pay outs in the industry.”  It also said, “The Onboarding team at Option One Processing.”

So they are not a law firm?

The email was signed by someone with the title Business Affiliate Manager.

So here’s the thing, California has strict laws about attorney advertising, especially on fee splitting. See Rules 5.4 Financial and Similar Arrangements with Nonlawyers.

The first thing I noticed after poking around the Cardinal Law Center website was the absence of any attorney named as required under California attorney advertising regulations.

The next item was the address of

445 South Figueroa Street, Suites 3100
#267 Los Angeles, CA 90071

That comes up as a virtual office.

Why Does Cardinal Law Center Look Sketchy?

It seems very mysterious that a law firm owned by an attorney would be operating an affiliate program as advertised on the Cardinal Law website. – Source

Now here is where it gets strange.

Cardinal Law Cneter, Inc. is a registered company in California. The agent named in the corporate registration is Donald B. Serafano. No updated ownership information is available yet; it is past due, according to the state. Serafano might be the agent, but without the additional information document, we don’t know if he is the owner.

But we know the company was registered on June 29, 2022. It states its purpose is “to engage in any lawful act or activity for which a corporation may be organized under the General Corporation Law of California other than the banking business, the trust company business or the practice of a profession permitted to be incorporated by the California Corporations Code.”

Serafano is an attorney registered with the State Bar of California.

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Why Does Cardinal Law Center Look Sketchy?

However, his Bar registration says his company is Cardinal Law and is located at 17748 Sky Park Cir, Ste 200, Irvine, CA 92614-4473. The State corporation registration says the principal address is 2525 Main Street, Suite 500 Irvine, CA 92614. – Source

Why Does Cardinal Law Center Look Sketchy?

The address of 2525 Main Street, Suite 500 Irvine, CA 92614 is also the address of Better Debt Solutions. The BBB says the owner is RC Ghanbari. – Source

And then there is that strange mention of Option One Processing in the email.

Option One Processing says they are located at another address, 2901 West Coast Hwy, Suite 200, Newport Beach, CA 92663. – Source

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

However, according to the information statement filed by Option One Processing, they list their address as 2525 Main Street, Suite 500, Irvine, CA 92614. They state the members of the LLC are Mohammad Ghafarinia and Arsalan Ghanbari. – Source

So we have multiple debt relief entities using the same mailing address and two companies with a Ghanbari. That’s quite a coincidence.

Option One Processing describes itself by saying, “At Option One Processing, we specialize in business process outsourcing through our National Attorney Network offering debt relief services to client companies and individuals.”

Option One Processing was filed with the State of California on May 20, 2022.

So why would an attorney network named Cardinal Law Center mention another attorney network company in their recruitment email?

Just be a Smart Consumer

I recommend that anyone considering using such a company read the following free guides.

  1. The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
  2. 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Counseling or Settlement Company for You
  3. How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off

Feel free to comment with any updates or information you might have.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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