Dennis Haggerty, 44, of Burr Ridge, IL, was arrested and charged in federal court on Tuesday with one count of wire fraud. Attorney information was not available at the time of writing.
According to the criminal complaint, the Chicago businessman is the president of At Diagnostics Inc., a Willowbrook-based suburban biotechnology company that provides medical supplies for personal and professional use. It was reportedly formed in March 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
In late March, At Diagnostics purportedly received large orders from two unnamed large university hospitals in Chicago and Iowa City, Iowa, for PPE. The hospitals collectively ordered one million N95 masks worth an estimated $3 million, the complaint claims. Hospital executives sent a deposit of $2.6 million into a bank account that supposedly belonged to the company, but was in reality controlled by the defendant alone.
Within 24 hours, the accused allegedly started to use the money for personal expenses. He sent $60,000 to three different credit card companies, transferred $50,000 into an account controlled by himself and his wife, cut a check for $20,000 to a woman investigator identified as his girlfriend, spent nearly $6,000 at Home Depot, and withdrew $6,000 in cash, according to the complaint.
Over the next few weeks, the accused reportedly cashed over a dozen checks totaling more than $140,000, paid for two cars valued at over $90,000 and bought two Maseratis and a Land Rover SUV.
At the same time, he reassured the hospitals the masks were being delivered, despite the fact they had never been sent, the complaint claims. When the masks were not delivered on time, he allegedly told one hospital his bank had no record of the money being deposited. When confronted by his two business partners about the pending orders, he altered a bank statement to make it appear the money was never received, the complaint states.
Though the hospitals are not named in the complaint, a spokesperson for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City confirmed to the press that university officials were contacted by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office after the defendant’s company “did not return the funds sent in escrow when the purchase was canceled.”
The businessman from Chicago was unable to return more than $2.6 million to the hospitals for the masks that were never delivered, sources indicate. He was formally charged on Tuesday afternoon after investigators executed a search of his office in Willowbrook. He is due back in court on November 19.
If he is convicted, the defendant faces up to 20 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release. It is not clear whether any of his allegedly illicitly acquired purchases, such as the vehicles, were seized when his home was searched.
South Florida Fraud Attorney