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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Monday, December 14, 2015

Former Stockbroker Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Tax Evasion

BOSTON – A previously convicted former stockbroker pleaded today in U.S. District Court in Springfield in connection with an investment scheme which defrauded victims of more than $600,000.

Jeffrey Eldred Gallagher, 72, of Bradenton Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, three counts of engaging in an illegal monetary transaction and two counts of tax evasion.  As alleged in the Information, in 1989, Gallagher was convicted in an earlier federal case of one count of mail fraud and three counts of interstate transportation of stolen property in connection with illegal options trading while he was a stockbroker at Paine Webber, Inc.  U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Feb. 29, 2016.

From at least 2008 through early 2012, Gallagher persuaded friends and associates to pay him money to invest on their behalf, and made promises that the investments would yield guaranteed returns of 10 to 15 percent.  Gallagher then commingled investor funds with his own personal funds, and paid some investors with monies given to him by other investors.  When investors asked Gallagher for the return of their investments, he provided numerous false explanations concerning his attempts to repay them, such as by falsely claiming that his mother, who is still alive, had died on several different dates.  In a similar effort to stall for time, Gallagher wrote investors more than 40 bad checks totaling $1,783,375.  In sum, 23 investors lost a total of approximately $617,475. 

As part of the scheme, in 2009 and 2010, Gallagher used approximately $249,703 of investor monies for his personal benefit, but did not report any of this income on his federal income tax returns for those years.      

The charges of wire fraud and engaging in an illegal monetary transaction each provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  The charge of tax evasion provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 on each count.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Ortiz's Springfield Branch Office.

Updated February 4, 2016