Dalton Man Charged With Mail Fraud
United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced a criminal complaint charging JEROME ROBERT HENNESSEY, 56, with one count of mail fraud. HENNESSEY surrendered himself and made his initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge Katherine Menendez, in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
According to the criminal complaint and a law enforcement affidavit, from 2003 through at least September of 2018, HENNESSEY defrauded the Ashby Farmers’ Co-Operative Elevator Company (co-op) in Ashby, Minnesota, for his own expenses.
According to the affidavit, on September 12, 2018, the co-op contacted local law enforcement regarding concerns over payments that HENNESSEY made to himself or for his own personal expenses. HENNESSEY was serving as the co-ops’ general manager. The co-op discovered multiple checks written by HENNESSEY to himself for over $40,000 and including a check for $135,000.
According to the affidavit, among the payments in question included over $1 million in payments to HENNESSEY’s personal Cabela’s Visa Card and hundreds of thousands of dollars for various hunting trips, including international big game hunting safaris, and taxidermy services. For example, investigators found at least twelve checks totaling more than $400,000 for items such as “South Africa Mounts” and “Zimbabwe Double Kudu Pedestals” and for a “Zebra Pedestal.”
The criminal complaint and law enforcement affidavit allege that on January 27, 2017, HENNESSEY mailed a check via U.S. mail in the amount of $34,166.67 from the co-ops’ account for a partial payment toward the purchase of hunting property in Kanabec County.
According to the affidavit, after the co-op identified the suspicious payments, they requested HENNESSEY meet with them on the morning of September 10, 2018. HENNESSEY did not show up for the meeting and instead met a friend who ultimately drove HENNESSEY to Des Moines, Iowa. Two of HENNESSEY’s acquaintances who were interviewed by law enforcement indicated that HENNESSEY told them that he taken money from his employer and was in a lot of trouble.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kokkinen is prosecuting the case.
JEROME ROBERT HENNESSEY, 56
- Mail Fraud, 1 count
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600
The charges contained in the criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.