Duluth man pleads guilty to wire fraud
A Duluth man has pleaded guilty on Wednesday to wire fraud after pretending to operate a law firm and defrauding an individual out of thousands of dollars in legal fees, according to U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. Gale Allen Rachuy, 73, defrauded an individual out of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
On Wednesday, Rachuy pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of wire fraud.
According to court documents, 73 year old, Gale Allen Rachuy devised and executed a scheme between March and April of 2022 to defraud an individual by falsely representing that he could provide legal services in connection with the victim’s post-conviction motion in exchange for $10,000. Rachuy told the victim that he operated Midwest Legal Service, a Duluth-area law firm, for more than 38 years.
Rachuy claimed to claimed to employ several attorneys, including a retired federal judge who previously served on the Seventh Circuit of Appeals and a retired Hennepin County District Court judge, according to officials.
Court documents say Rachuy sent a letter on March 10, 2022, to the victim on Midwest Legal Service letterhead falsely claiming that the federal judge would assist in the victim’s legal representation, and asked for $2,500 as a retainer. On March 15, 2022, Rachuy received payment from the victim.
Shortly after the payment was made, the victim became suspicious and confronted Rachuy because the victim had not received a draft of the legal documents Rachuy had promised to file. Rachuy promised he would promptly refund the money. However the refund was never sent.
The U.S. Attorney says Rachuy continued to falsely claim that the federal judge and the Hennepin County judge were working on the case.
Rachuy will be sentenced at a later date.
Helping in the investigation were the FBI, the Duluth Police Department, Hermantown Police Department, with assistance from the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office.