BURR RIDGE, IL – The federal case against a Burr Ridge man involves “a common truth that we all know and accept – everyone makes mistakes,” his attorney said.
In the case of Dennis Haggerty, the mistake was to defraud Northwestern and University of Iowa hospitals for $2.5 million.
Last week, Haggerty’s lawyer Edmund Wanderling of North Riverside argued that his client should not go to jail.
In March, Haggerty, 46, pleaded guilty to $2.5 million of fraud in the sale of personal protective equipment to hospitals. His crimes took place in the first weeks of the pandemic.
Federal prosecutors recently claimed that Haggerty was receiving a seven-figure salary from his current employer, which the government has not identified.
Wanderling said no defendant should be tried solely on the worst thing they have ever done.
“Dennis Haggerty Jr. is a good man who unfortunately exhibited extremely poor judgment,” Wanderling wrote. “Dennis remains a loving father and brother and a hardworking person who has always lived his life as a caring and respectful person.”
Haggerty improperly spent the money he received from hospitals on behalf of his company, At Diagnostics, which consisted of two other partners, according to his attorney. Haggerty then wove a “web of lies” to hide his activity, Wanderling said.
According to federal prosecutors, Haggerty went on a spending spree buying a 2013 Maserati GranTurismo, a 2015 Land Rover and a 2017 Maserati Ghibli.
Wanderling argued that his client would not be able to repay the money he had taken fraudulently if sent to prison. Additionally, Haggerty and his wife, who have two children together, divorced in January. He now owes $13,500 a month in child support and maintenance, Wandering said.
Prior to the fraud, Haggerty had no criminal history since 2006. Most of his prior arrests were driving-related, including three DUIs, indicating alcohol abuse, his attorney said.
In the five months since his plea, Haggerty paid nearly $550,000 in restitution, Wanderling said.
The attorney said Haggerty’s criminal conduct was based on panic and poor judgment. It was not planned with evil or culpable intent, Wanderling said.
“We maintain that Mr. Haggerty’s life was mostly good except for his misconduct,” Wanderling said. “This must be recognized because his crime in this case must be assessed in the context of all the facts and his life in general, and this should be the case when the Court imposes (a) sentence when his future and that of his children are at stake. Mr. Haggerty is the rock of his family.”
A hearing on the status of the case is scheduled for November 29.