William Neil Gallagher, a Texas Christian radio host who broadcasted under the name Doc Gallagher, was sentenced to three life prison terms, plus an extra 30 years this week for engaging in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

State District Judge Elizabeth Beach handed down the hefty sentence Monday, after hearing from more than a dozen of Doc Gallagher’s elderly listeners about how the radio host scammed them for up to $600,000 each, the Associated Press reported.

Gallagher, 80, had reportedly called himself the “Money Doctor” on air, and previously pleaded guilty to three different theft and fraud charges in August. 

Police: William Neil Gallagher Stole Millions from Seniors

According to court documents and local reports, Doc Gallagher raised money from listeners of his Christian radio show and from soliciting investments from churchgoers across the state, promising that an investment in his firm the Gallagher Financial Group would pay dividends. 

Lori Varnell, who leads the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Elder Financial Fraud team, said Gallagher was able to bilk $32 million from his mostly elderly clients by posing as a retirement planning firm.  

“’Doc’ Gallagher is one of the worst offenders I have seen,” she said. “He ruthlessly stole from his clients who trusted him for almost a decade. He worked his way around churches preying on people who believed he was a Christian.”

The Gallagher Financial Group, state authorities said, has not even been a legally registered investment business in Texas since 2008. But to keep up the charade, the firm ran offices in Dallas and Hurst, from which it siphoned money from Gallagher’s network of “clients.”

Gallagher would reportedly promote his investment business in churches, through his books such as Jesus Christ, Money Master, and on the radio, where he advertised with the tagline “see you in church on Sunday.” 

At this Dallas office building, William Neil Gallagher ran the Gallagher Financial Group, a Ponzi scheme that defrauded the elderly by posing as a retirement planning firm.
At this Dallas office building, William Neil Gallagher ran the Gallagher Financial Group, a Ponzi scheme that defrauded the elderly by posing as a retirement planning firm, prosecutors said. Photo credit: Google Maps

Victims of Gallagher’s fraudulent schemes told Judge Beach on Monday the scam had cost them nearly everything. Some said that the losses forced them to sell their homes, take on loans from family members, or get part time jobs to supplement their Social Security checks.

“I’m afraid my money is going to run out,” said victim Judy Dewitt. “It’s a very scary thing.”

Others told the court that the fraud eroded their faith in others. 

“I don’t trust anybody anymore, except for God and my family,” said Susan Pippi

The Gallagher Financial Group’s assets were frozen during the investigation, and the firm has since entered into a receivership under federal supervision as victims file claims for compensation. 

Doc Gallagher Facing Multiple Prison Terms

William Neil Gallagher was first arrested on similar fraud charges in Dallas County in March 2019, local reports indicate

After spending nearly a year in a Dallas jail, Gallagher pleaded guilty and was sentenced in March 2020 to 25 years in a state prison and ordered to pay more than $10 million in restitution to victims. 

William Neil Gallagher, who called himself 'Doc Gallagher' and 'the Money Doctor,' faces 3 life prison terms and 55 years behind bars for fraud and elder exploitation.
William Neil Gallagher, who called himself ‘Doc Gallagher’ and ‘the Money Doctor,’ faces 3 life prison terms and 55 years behind bars for fraud and elder exploitation. Photo credit: Texas.gov

The Tarrant County charges, for which Judge Beach sentenced Gallagher Monday, stemmed from an indictment handed down in Aug. 2019. 

The life sentences Judge Beach gave him Monday stemmed from a different criminal suit in nearby Tarrant County, where Gallagher was indicted in August 2019. 

In Aug. 2021, Gallagher pleaded guilty to those charges, as well — 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.

Those crimes earned Doc Gallagher the three life sentences, which are reportedly

 to be served concurrently. 

For pleading guilty to three elder abuse charges, the 80-year-old Gallagher was sentenced to an extra 30 years. 

In all, William Neil Gallagher has been sentenced to three lifetimes plus an extra 55 years behind bars.