Suburban businessman admits he used millions paid by hospitals for face masks to buy Maseratis
Dennis W. Haggerty Jr. now faces a likely sentence in May of around three years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the United States in March 2020, Burr Ridge’s Dennis W. Haggerty Jr. and his business partners started a company to sell highly coveted personal protective equipment like face masks.
Two years later, Haggerty found himself standing in front of a judge at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, admitting he took millions in payments from hospitals and, instead of providing face masks, spent it on Maseratis and other personal expenses.
Now, Haggerty faces a likely sentence of around three years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. He will also likely be ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution. U.S. District Judge John Kness set his sentencing hearing for May 25.
Haggerty, 45, was first charged in a 39-page criminal complaint filed in November 2020. Prosecutors said the onetime president of At Diagnostics Inc. cheated two large university hospitals in Chicago and Iowa City, Iowa. Court records identified them as Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and University of Iowa Medical Center.
Haggerty’s 24-page plea agreement says one hospital agreed to buy 500,000 N95 respirator masks for $2.495 million in March 2020. But it said Haggerty sent an invoice to one of his partners instructing the hospital to wire the money into an account he falsely described as an At Diagnostics account. It was really for a separate business, and he was the sole signatory.
The hospital sent the $2.495 million to that account. In his plea agreement, Haggerty admitted he then took $147,750 from that account in increments designed to avoid reporting requirements, paid $20,000 to a friend and $188,534 to credit card companies, and purchased a 2013 Maserati GranTurismo, a 2015 Land Rover Range Rover and a 2017 Maserati Ghibli.
When the hospital demanded the money back because it didn’t get any masks, Haggerty lied and said his bank had no record of the wire transfer. He even sent an altered bank statement after his partners asked him about the money, according to the plea agreement.
The second hospital placed an order for 500,000 N95 masks, and it inadvertently released $933,825 into Haggerty’s account in June 2020, the document said. Instead of returning it, he used it to give back $250,000 to the first hospital, it said.