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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Federal Indictment Charges Duluth Man with Wire Fraud

Defendant has an extensive criminal history, including more than 30 felony convictions

MINNEAPOLIS – A Duluth man has been indicted for wire fraud after pretending to operate a law firm and defrauding an individual out of thousands of dollars in legal fees, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

“I am grateful for the diligence and the coordinated work of the FBI, the Duluth Police Department, and the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office for investigating the defendant’s long history of repeated and unrelenting fraudulent conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, between March and April 2022, Gale Allen Rachuy, 72, devised and executed a scheme to defraud an individual (Victim A) by falsely representing that he could provide legal services in connection with Victim A’s post-conviction motion in exchange for $10,000. Rachuy told Victim A that he operated Midwest Legal Service, a Duluth-area law firm, for more than 38 years and claimed to employ several attorneys, including a retired federal judge who previously served on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge A) and a retired Hennepin County District Court judge (Judge B).

According to court documents, on March 10, 2022, Rachuy sent a letter to Victim A on Midwest Legal Service letterhead falsely claiming that Judge A would assist in Victim A’s legal representation and enclosed a copy of a retainer agreement seeking a $2,500 payment. On March 15, 2022, Rachuy received the $2,500 retainer from Victim A. Shortly thereafter, Victim A became suspicious and confronted Rachuy because Victim A had not received a draft of the legal documents Rachuy had promised to file. Rachuy promised Victim A that he would promptly refund the money, but never did so. Instead, Rachuy continued to falsely assure Victim A that Judge A and Judge B were working on the case.

Rachuy is charged with one count of wire fraud. He made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court today before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz. Rachuy was ordered detained pending a formal detention hearing scheduled for 1:30 pm on Monday, December 19, 2022, before Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Duluth Police Department, and the Hermantown Police Department, with assistance from the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea A. Walcker is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated December 14, 2022