293: Tim Gallagher – Fatal Fake Check Fraud

Retired agent Tim Gallagher reviews his investigation of a multi-state check counterfeiting ring that operated out of Northeast Ohio. They hit banks and businesses with fake payroll checks and bogus personal checks, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of check fraud losses.

In addition to several convictions, the case also resulted in the recovery of the remains of a cooperating witness most likely murdered to stop him from testifying, but never proven. Tim Gallagher served in the FBI for 22 years.

Tim teamed up with a Secret Service agent and detectives from state and local agencies to identify and convict the ringleaders. At the time Tim opened the counterfeit check fraud case, he was assigned to the Cleveland Division in a 7-agent Resident Agency in Canton, Ohio, where he worked a variety of violations.

Tim Gallagher served in the FBI for more than 22 years.

Later in his FBI career, Tim served as a supervisor in Kansas City, Missouri and then led various high-profile criminal and cyber investigations as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) and then Special Agent in Charge (SAC at the Washington Field Office. During this time period, he also held several senior management positions at FBI Headquarters to include Chief of the Financial Crimes Section, Chief of Cyber Outreach and Strategic Initiatives, and Deputy Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division.

His last Bureau assignment was as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division, leading more than 800 professionals in the New Jersey office in their efforts to bolster national security and combat crime and cyber threats.

Since his retirement, Tim’s has appeared on CNN, NBC News, FOX, The Washington Post, and NPR, among other outlets, to comment on matters ranging from developing cybercrime and emerging trends in artificial intelligence to multifaceted law enforcement matters. Currently, Tim is a Managing Director, Digital Investigations & Cyber Defense and Chief Security Officer of Nardello & Company.






“The Akron Police obviously have jurisdiction in this matter. It’s a homicide. But they deferred to us. They said this is a federal witness in a federal investigation, go ahead and take the case.”—Retired Agent Tim Gallagher

The following are links to news articles and court documents about the counterfeit check ring led by Lonnie B. Thompson:

Ohio Man Indicted for Bogus Checks – (6) News Articles

Lonnie B. Thompson – Federal Sentencing


If you enjoyed this episode, you might also want to listen to:

Episode 042: Doug Hess – Stolen Gold Coins and Fake Silver Bars


Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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