Suburban businessman gets 57-month sentence in PPE scam

Dennis W. Haggerty Jr. pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and must pay nearly $2 million in restitution to 2 hospitals that ordered N95 face masks from his firm.

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Dennis W. Haggerty Jr., who swindled more than $2.5 million from hospitals in Chicago and Iowa, was sentenced to 57 months in prison Monday.

According to federal court documents, both hospitals agreed to buy more than $3 million worth of N95 face masks from Haggerty’s newly formed medical supply company in March 2020 during the pandemic. Two years later, the former Burr Ridge businessman admitted to transferring the money to personal accounts and spending the stolen funds on Maseratis and other personal expenses.

Haggerty was charged with wire fraud and money laundering. He is now expected to pay nearly $2 million in restitution to Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and University of Iowa Medical Center, along with a $1.6 million forfeiture judgment, the court documents said.

In Haggerty’s defense statement, his attorney wrote that Haggerty is offering to sell his house, which is worth more than $800,000, to help pay his debts to both hospitals.

Additionally, Haggerty said he had no intention of committing fraud when the first hospital placed an order for face masks.

Haggerty said he learned the N95 masks ordered by the first hospital were not going to be delivered as promised from a manufacturing company. And when the hospital requested a refund for the missing masks, Haggerty then paid the hospital $250,000 with funds given to him from first hospital and the second hospital, he said.

The second hospital placed an order for 500,000 N95 masks and paid Haggerty $933,825 in June 2020, court documents said.

According to prosecutors, Haggerty never purchased the masks. Instead, prosecutors said, Haggerty made incremental payments to himself designed to avoid reporting requirements.

Court documents said Haggerty paid $20,000 to a friend and $188,534 to credit card companies and purchased a 2013 Maserati GranTurismo, a 2015 Range Rover and a 2017 Maserati Ghibli. 

Once the first hospital and Haggerty’s business partners caught on to the scheme, Haggerty spiraled, prosecutors said.

With mounting debt and looming prison time, Haggerty will be unlikely to pay back both hospitals anytime soon, his attorney said.

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