More filings brought against lawyer accused of theft - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

More filings brought against lawyer accused of theft

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Another claim has been filed against the estate of an attorney accused of stealing thousands of dollars from clients.

David Roth, 51, worked at Gallagher, Langlas & Gallagher, P.C. in Waterloo. He took his own life on Sept. 23 in Hudson. A month later, the first claim against his estate was filed.

Nicole Schneider, of Waverly, was the first to file against Roth's estate. In court documents, she claims Roth misused $64,000 she received in life insurance after her husband's death in grain bin accident. According to court filings, she said Roth told her he would invest the money, but took it for personal use instead.

Schneider told KWWL her lawyer advised her not to comment for this story.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has received the case, according to Waterloo Police.

Edward J. Gallagher, Jr. is a senior partner at the firm. On Nov. 6, he filed a claim for $121,418.63 to recoup money on a loan he made to Roth. The initial loan amount is listed at $162,500. A property in Clear Lake was listed as collateral on the promissory note of the loan. Gallagher's filings to do not accuse Roth of any wrongdoing.

A Clarksville woman has also filed against Roth. Her paperwork includes a photocopy of a check made out to the Gallagher firm for $50,000.

Thomas Langlas, another partner at the firm, said they have launched an internal investigation, but couldn't discuss the progress.

“I wouldn't want to comment on something that's not complete yet,” he said.

He also declined to comment on the firm's internal theft failsafes, and directed KWWL to an outside legal council.

“We had no knowledge of this prior to Mr. Roth's death,” he said.

Gallagher, Langlas and Gallagher have filed a police report, but that document has been forwarded to the FBI, and is unavailable.

So far, no criminal charges have been filed. Black Hawk County Attorney Tom Ferguson said in general, if a suspect is deceased, charges are not filed, though that does not preclude an investigation.

It's unclear at this point how many more claims may be filed against Roth's estate. At the time of this writing, claims totaled more than $200,000.

Court documents value the total estate at $700,000.

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