NBC 10 I-Team: Gallison agrees to plead guilty to federal fraud charges
On Monday morning, in a room full of police officers, attorneys, and feds, US Attorney Peter Neronha laid out nine felony counts facing former Bristol Rep. Raymond Gallison Jr., who admitted in a plea deal that he’s guilty of mail and wire fraud, identity theft and filing bogus taxes.
“He lied and he stole, in a variety of ways and from a variety of people,” said Neronha.
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin was present for the announcement, now his third former colleague at the state house to be charged or admit to crimes in the last 11 days.
“Ray Gallison was greedy, pure and simple,” Kilmartin said. “He stole from his clients, people who considered him a trusted attorney and trusted friend.”
One those victims was Ray Medley, a Barrington bachelor, who died in 2012.
Gallison was executor of his estate and was instructed by a will to give Medley's money to charities. Instead, investigators said Gallison schemed to steal and transfer bank accounts, cash, checks, stocks and property into his own control, about $677,957.
Beginning in June 2012 and continuing until April 2016, Gallison deposited 94 dividend checks of Medley’s totaling $116,258 into his own personal accounts. Court records showed Gallison used $6,900 to buy goods at Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Stop and Shop.
“He used the decedent's credit card to purchase personal items at a variety of retail outlets. He sold the decedent's property at a pawn shop in Fall River. He sold the decedent's car to a family member for less than its true value and pocketed the cash,” said Neronha.
The I-Team revealed last year that family member was Gallison's own son, Tim, a Bristol cop, who later refunded $2,500 to the Medley estate.
Tucker Wright is a Warren attorney, who is now representing the Medley estate in court. He found Medley's belongings hidden in a storage unit last summer and is attempting to get restitution from Gallison.
“Thieves usually steal from, you know, other people, but not from personal friends,” said Wright.
Before resigning in May as House finance chair, Gallison received a salary from the non-profit, Alternative Educational Programming, or AEP, along with state grant money. Investigators said he grossly over-stated how many students the group helped financially. One example said AEP helped pay over $77,000 in tuition and fees on behalf of 47 students, when in reality, AEP paid a little over $3,000 to help two students, according to Neronha.
Separately, as a trustee for a disabled person, Gallison stole money from a special needs trust to pay a bill for AEP.
“It is at least ironic that someone who engages in this level of financial fraud is the house finance chair. I mean, if that isn't sending up alarm bells to folks, it ought to,” added Neronha.
According to authorities, Gallison also failed to pay a total of $226,332 in taxes. Between what has been returned and seized, the US Attorney said he expects Gallison to pay some $100,000 in restitution before his sentencing (no date has been set). A remaining $60,000 would be worked out for repayment by the court. Gallison faces a minimum of two years in federal prison, but the government indicated it will push for more.
The NBC 10 I-Team first reported on the state police and FBI investigation into Gallison last May, which later included the attorney general’s office and IRS. Multiple sources and at least one witness questioned by investigators confirmed to NBC 10’s I-Team that the Gallison probe began with a connection to prostitution and centered around a woman originally from New Hampshire.
Ultimately, Gallison was not charged with any crimes related to prostitution. When asked Monday, Neronha said it’s a Department of Justice policy to only comment on the pending charges, not specifics of what investigators may have looked into.
“We thoroughly investigated the conduct by Mr. Gallison and we charged him with every federal and state crime we think we can prove,” Neronha said. “You start looking over here and you find something over here and what’s over here takes you over there.”