A Texas radio host who pled guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that bilked millions from senior citizens was sentenced to three life prison sentences – plus an additional thirty years – on Monday.
William Neil “Doc” Gallagher, now 80, called himself the “Money Doctor” and promoted his investment scheme on Christian radio, using the tagline “See you in church on Sunday.” He also wrote a book called “Jesus Christ, Money Master.”
“[Gallagher] ruthlessly stole from his clients who trusted him for almost a decade. He amassed $32 million in loss to all of his clients and exploited many elder individuals. He worked his way around churches preying on people who believed he was a Christian,” said Lori Varnell, chief of the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Elder Financial Fraud team.
“’Doc’ Gallagher is one of the worst offenders I have seen,” Varnell added.
CBS News’ Fort Worth affiliate reports:
Judge Elizabeth Beach sentenced Gallagher to life terms on three charges — securing the execution of a document by deception for an amount greater than $200,000, theft of property more than $300,000 and misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution of more than $300,000. He was sentenced to another 10 years each on three charges: One charge of forgery against the elderly and two charges of exploitation of the elderly.
The Associated Press adds:
The sentencing came after more than a dozen senior victims testified during a three-hour court hearing about losing anywhere from $50,000 to $600,000 invested in the Gallagher Financial Group. Some said they had to sell their homes, borrow money from their children or take part-time jobs to supplement their Social Security benefits.
“I don’t trust anybody anymore, except for God and my family,” said Susan Pippi, one of Gallagher’s victims.