“Money Doctor” took – and kept – Texas investors’ contributions

Ultimately, the “Money Doctor” bestowed financial harm, not promised riches, on investors.

Those individuals were beguiled in droves for more than a handful of years by William Neil “Doc” Gallagher, whose steady on-air pitches convinced them to confidently hand over their assets.

Gallagher’s reported pyramid scheme was promoted over the airwaves, with authorities pointing to his advertised promises of guaranteed wealth beamed out on at least three Dallas radio stations.

Gallagher allegedly used a number of strategies that specifically preyed upon investor gullibility and emotion. He especially targeted Christian investors, making repeated references to religious themes and subject matter. And he not only hinted at outsized returns for people willing to trust him; rather, he guaranteed them, ensuring a “retirement income you’ll never outlive.”

Unsurprisingly, the hyperbole was, well, just that. Reportedly, Gallagher solicited nearly $20 million from scores of good-faith individuals, with scant little of that coming back to any of them other than the earliest investors in classic Ponzi scheme-like fashion. Civil regulators and criminal law authorities say that he spent much of the money on himself.

The story is illustrative for a point it centrally spotlights concerning the investigation and ultimate outcome that often ensues in securities fraud cases. Namely, that is the marked seriousness with which authorities pursue those matters. Gallagher, for example, was targeted by both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Dallas County criminal law enforcers. He now faces a number of civil charges and criminal counts alleging fraud, money laundering and additional acts of wrongdoing.