Claims against Roth estate surpass $9-million-Deadline Approache - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Claims against Roth estate surpass $9-million

Claims against Roth estate surpass $9-million-Deadline Approaches

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The latest claim against the estate of a deceased Waterloo attorney pushes the total dollar amount in claims past $9-million.

Thomas and Theresa Ledesma filed a claim on behalf of their late son, Adam, for $760,000 against the estate of the late David Roth. 

At the time of his death. Roth was the President of the Gallagher, Langlas & Gallagher law firm. 

Roth took his own life back in September, 2014, shortly after other officers of the Waterloo law firm confronted him with allegations of fraud committed against numerous clients, financial institutions and other creditors. 

To date, some four dozen claims against the Roth estate are on record with the Iowa District Court.

One of the claims even comes from Edward Gallagher, Junior, the senior partner and founder of Gallagher, Langlas & Gallagher.

Shortly after Mr. Roth's death, the law firm issued a statement, denying any knowledge of Roth's alleged illegal activities. 

As previously reported on KWWL-TV and kwwl.com, several of the Gallagher lawyers have left the firm for other law offices, and the future of the once prestigious law office appears to be very much in doubt.

One key factor in the developing court battle will be the court's eventual decision concerning the liability insurance purchased by the Gallagher law firm. Court documents indicate Gallagher, Langlas & Gallagher, a Private Corporation, may have insurance coverage up to $4-million per claim. 

But, the liability insurance company, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual, has already filed with the court, asking that the liability policies be denied, claiming they were fraudulently obtained. The insurance carrier will try to prove Mr. Roth applied for the liability insurance, but, may have lied on the application. 

One of the key questions will be when the alleged illegal activity began. If illegalities are proven, did they begin before or after Minnesota Lawyers Mutual approved the liability insurance for the Gallagher law firm

Minnesota Lawyers Mutual has also raised questions about a renewal of the liability policies and if Mr. Roth was truthful in that renewal process for the liability insurance.

Should the court rule the insurance null and void, it would be a major setback for the alleged victims and the law firm. It's believed that some of the alleged victims may take their claims beyond the Roth estate and sue the individual partners of record of the Gallagher law firm. The law office has already been named in some of the court filings.

In its filing of court documents, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual also claims it discovered Mr. Roth held what it calls a 'secret bank account' at a Waverly branch of the Veridian Credit Union, Iowa's largest credit union, based in Waterloo. Veridian is also one of the some four-dozen alleged victims. Veridian has already filed several claims against the Roth estate.

The largest single claim so far against the Roth estate is $1.89 million. That claim was filed just days ago by VerJean and Eugene Walther of Waverly, in connection with an financial settlement with the State of Iowa. The Walther's were injured in a crash involving an Iowa State Trooper in 2012. Roth represented the Walther's, who now claim the money is gone.

Alleged victims have until March 6 to file claims against the Roth estate. March 6 is the filing deadline.

In coming months, it will all play out in the Iowa District Court.

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