Dallas, U.S. (April 7, 2020) – Former Texas radio host ‘The Money Doctor’, William Neil ‘Doc’ Gallagher, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for securities fraud and money laundering. The 79-year-old reached a plea agreement on March 27. Gallagher admitted conducting a Ponzi scheme between January 2013 and March 8, 2019. He bilked 82 elderly Christian investors out of more than US$20 million and was ordered to pay more than US$ 10 million in restitution.
Former radio host and financial consultant, William Neil ‘Doc’ Gallagher was sentenced to 25 years in prison for securities fraud and money laundering. The former host of ‘The Money Doctor’ on several faith-based radio stations admitted stealing more than US$20 million from elderly Christian investors using a Ponzi Scheme.
Defrauding 82 elderly Christian listeners and investors
A year ago, on March 9, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Gallagher and two of his businesses, Gallagher Financial Group, Inc., and W. Neil Gallagher, Ph.D. Agency, Inc. for allegedly conducting a long-running Ponzi scheme.
The now 79-year-old reached a plea agreement in Dallas County on March 27 including three charges one count each of theft of more than $300,000, money laundering of more than $300,000, and securities fraud of more than $100,000.
In the plea, he confessed to having defrauded his victims out of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme from January 2013 to March 8, 2019. He stated: ‘I did then and there […] sell and offer for sale securities in the form of evidences of indebtedness and investment contracts, described as ‘Diversified Growth and Income Strategy Account’ or ‘D.G.I.’ […]’.
82 victims are named in the agreement. The prosecution said that he made frequent religious references on his radio shows to establish his standing among a target audience of retired Christian investors. Using his two businesses, he claimed to be a licensed investment adviser, which was not true. With the D.G.I., he promised income-generating assets in five specified categories to his victims. The investment was supposed to be risk-free and aggregate guaranteed returns ranging from 5 percent to 8 percent per year.
‘In reality, except for one $75,000 annuity purchase, Gallagher purchased no assets in any of the five categories and no other assets to back the promised returns. Instead, he exhausted virtually all investor funds on spending unrelated to the accounts, including misappropriating significant portions for personal and company expenses and to make Ponzi payments to investors. To lull investors and conceal the scheme, Gallagher provided investors phony account statements showing false account balances,’ the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission explained in a press release.
25 years in prison for securities fraud and money laundering
The Dallas County District Judge approved the former radio host’s plea agreement and sentenced him to 25 years in prison. Additionally to the prison term, Gallagher has been ordered to pay US10,386,816.68 in restitution to his victims.
‘He took advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. He targeted elderly investors and individuals attracted to his Christian ideals and then stole from them,’ said Lead Prosecutor Alexis Goldate in a statement.
Gallagher remained in custody since his arrest in March 2019, after he was indicted. At the end of the plea, Gallagher apologized to his friends and family. He still faces additional charges in Tarrant County, Texas.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.