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Jim Thorpe bank official defendant in lawsuit

Published April 01. 2011 05:00PM

A Jim Thorpe bank official, and his real estate firm, have been named defendants in a civil lawsuit that alleges he took large sums of money from an elderly resident as loans, and never repaid them, with interest.

Named defendant in the suit is Dennis Gallagher, individually, and doing business as Cedar Creek Real Estate with a residential address of 1570 Center Ave., Jim Thorpe. The plaintiff in the action is Ivo Bricoli, of 422 South St., Jim Thorpe. Gallagher is chairman of the board of directors of the Jim Thorpe National Bank.

The suit states that Gallagher, sole proprietor of the real estate firm, is in the business of renting properties, selling real estate and selling real estate investments.

The suit states on March 8, 2007, Gallagher asked for a check in the amount of $25,000 from Bricoli. The Jim Thorpe National Bank check was made out to the bank and had "Dennis" written in the byline in the defendant's handwriting.

The suit states Gallagher cashed the check at the bank for a wire transfer to fund an investment in Triad Capital.

The suit adds, "This was for a loan that was to be paid back to Plaintiff within thirty (30) days with interest."

The suit goes on to state that on or about April 10, 2007, Gallagher asked for a check in the amount of $30,000 from Bricoli. The check was made out to Cedar Creek Real Estate and has "loan to Sandy Kalas" written in the byline in Gallagher's handwriting.

The suit charges Gallagher solicited the check as a loan in order for him to fund "a loan to Sandy Kalas, who was affiliated with Triad Capital, which was to be paid back to Bricoli within 30 days with interest."

The suit also charges both checks were made out entirely in the handwriting of the defendant with the exception of the plaintiffs' signature on each.

The suits says Bricoli was to receive the money from both checks back within 30 days of the date each check was executed, with interest.

The suit charges that Gallagher did not document either transaction, although at the time he was in a confidential relationship with Bricoli, arising out of assistance he provided to the plaintiff with paying his bills.

The suit adds that Bricoli is Italian, is not fluent in English, cannot write in English, and was over 70 years of age at the time the checks were executed.

The suit added, "Because Defendant had assisted Plaintiff with paying monthly bills for at least two years prior to the above-described checks being made out, Defendant had access to Plaintiff's bank account and statements."

The five count suit alleges the following against the defendant: breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment, unfair trade practices act and consumer protection law violations, and securities violation.

In counts one, two and three the plaintiff seeks the court to award the plaintiff $55,000 in damages.

In count four, unfair trade practices, damages of $165,000 are sought which represents three times the original amount. In count five, securities violation, an additional award of $25,000 is sought.

In each count costs, interest and fees are also requested.

The suit was filed on March 22 by attorney William G. Schwab of Lehighton.

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