In 2009, Jason Heid wrote a story for D CEO about William “Doc” Gallagher. He called himself the Money Doctor and had a radio show on Saturday mornings through KAAM-AM 770. He bought the time to advertise his services as a financial adviser. Jason figured out that Gallagher didn’t have a license to sell securities. He had “a documented history of investor complaints during his career as a financial adviser,” dating back to 1987. In 1999, he was fined $25,000 by the Texas State Securities Board for recreating customer-check receipts.
The next year, the state fined his employer $10,000 for inadequate record keeping and told the firm not to let him sign up new customers without another registered member present. So not the most scrupulous guy.
This week, Gallagher was indicted for running a nearly $20 million Ponzi scheme from 2014 to 2019. A Dallas County grand jury indicted him for securities fraud of more than $100,000 and a separate count of money laundering more than $300,000. He was arrested in Hurst and transferred to Lew Sterrett from Tarrant County. He’s jailed on $1 million bail for the two charges.
Gallagher promised risk-free returns and falsely claimed to be—you guessed it—a licensed investment adviser. The feds say he bilked all his money from about 60 senior citizens; he targeted older Christians, using his radio show to lure them in. His sign off was “see you in church tomorrow.” His show even aired last week. He held events as recently as December, which was apparently an opportunity to watch him jump in a cold pool outside a gym in Colleyville. The press release for the event says he manages over $1 billion in assets “serving over one thousand clients world-wide.”
In 2016, during the height of his alleged scheme, we got an email from a publicist representing Gallagher. She wanted us to take Jason’s story down. We didn’t. “He is not only a hard-working Christian man, who helps his financial clients save and retire with Christian ideals, but he has done so much in the community,” she wrote.
“However, 7 years ago, it seems an article was written about Dr. Gallagher in D Magazine that is very far from the truth regarding his nature and professional dealings. As his publicist, I was reaching out in hopes that you might be able to put me in touch with someone who may have decision-making power regarding this article and possible righting the article, removing it or giving Dr. Gallagher the chance to show D Magazine that the article is full of misrepresentations.“
I don’t think it went far enough.