Former KC Attorney Pleads Guilty to $1.2 Million Fraud Scheme
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Kansas City, Mo., attorney pleaded guilty in federal court today to stealing more than $1.2 million from St. Luke’s Health System, a client of his former law firm.
Alan B. Gallas, 64, of Kansas City, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to a federal information that charges him with mail fraud. Gallas was an attorney and partner in the law firm of Gallas & Shultz in Kansas City, Mo. He surrendered his license to practice law in Missouri and Kansas in November 2015.
By pleading guilty today, Gallas admitted that he engaged in a scheme from 2009 through July 2015 to defraud a client, St. Luke’s Health System, of monies collected by his law firm totaling $1,224,264. Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Gallas must pay $1,224,264 in restitution to St. Luke’s.
Gallas was the attorney responsible for the St. Luke’s account at the law firm. After attempting to collect on patient accounts for a period of time, St. Luke’s would transfer its larger outstanding patient accounts to Gallas & Shultz for collection. As payments on patient accounts were received, the payments were logged into the case management system for the appropriate patient account. The monies were then deposited into the law firm’s trust account. On a periodic basis, often monthly, the firm would remit the patient payments collected to St. Luke’s.
Gallas admitted today that he caused personnel at the law firm to withhold money from payments made to St. Luke’s by placing thousands of payments on “hold” status, then directing those funds be transferred from the trust account to the firm’s operating account. The pattern of not remitting some payments to St. Luke’s escalated significantly from 2012 to 2015. According to court documents, Gallas withheld 601 payments totaling $211,391 in 2012. Gallas withheld 699 payments totaling $266,696 in 2013. Gallas withheld 625 payments totaling $227,892 in 2014. Through the month of July 2015, Gallas withheld 625 payments totaling $216,845.
Under federal statutes, Gallas is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by the FBI.