Former state Rep. Ray Gallison pleaded guilty to nine felony charges Thursday, and now faces the prospect of several years in federal prison.
Chief Judge William Smith accepted Mr. gallison's plea in federal court in Providence Thursday afternoon after reminding him of the rights he is giving up and informing him that should he apply the maximum sentences for the nine felonies consecutively, Mr. Gallison would serve 111 years in prison and pay a $1.8 million fine. Judge Smith scheduled sentencing for June 16 at 2 p.m. Mr. Gallison remains free on bond in the meantime.
"I have to consider sentencing guidelines, but I'm not required to follow them," Judge Smith said. "The penalties could be higher or lower. If the penalties are higher than you've been told, you don't get to take back your plea once you enter it today."
Mr. Gallison said little in court, other than "Yes, your honor," or "No, your honor" in answer to direct questions. "Guilty" was all he said when asked for his plea.
Outside the courthouse in Providence's Kennedy Plaza, Mr. Gallison quickly walked to a waiting car and was driven away without comment.
The disgraced former legislator was arraigned Jan. 27 on the charges — aggravated identity theft, mail fraud, wire fraud (four counts) and federal tax violations (three counts) for under-reporting his income and assisting with the filing of a false tax document.
Federal prosecutor Dulce Donovan laid out the case against him, telling the judge Mr. Gallison stole a total of $677,957 from the estate of Barrington resident Ray Medley, who died in 2012 and assigned Mr. Gallison to execute his estate, and another disabled person for whom he served as trustee.
"The defendant began looting assets large and small," Ms. Donovan said. "The defendant began helping himself to the dividens and ultimately the stocks themselves."
Mr. Gallison also used Mr. Medley's credit card to buy personal items, transferred money into his own personal account, sold personal items to a Fall River pawn shop, sold a car to a "family member" and kept the money.
He also filed false tax returns that failed to account for his ill-gotten gains, and assisted an associate in doing the same.
In addition to his upcoming sentence, Mr. Gallison was ordered to make full restitution to the estate, much of which was inteded for non-profit organizations in Warren and Barrington. He had previously returned more than $500,000 in stocks. On Thursday, he paid the remaining $162,000.