Dennehy, 41, pleaded guilty to a single count of bank fraud, admitting he forged numerous company checks over six years. Confronted with forged checks and explicit images of his torrid encounters, Dennehy agreed to plead guilty before the FBI and federal prosecutors took his case to a grand jury for…
Of the $1.7 million that Bexar Waste employee Michael Dennehy embezzled from the company, most of it went to escorts and gambling, he admitted Wednesday in federal court.
His admission appears to have set the unofficial record in San Antonio held by defendants who spent ill-gotten gains on prostitutes or strippers, some observers have noted. Dennehy, 41, pleaded guilty to a single count of bank fraud, admitting that he forged numerous company checks over six years.
Defense attorney Alan Brown said his client, who is married with five children, succumbed to urges he could not control.
“He did spend it on gambling and on escort services, as the (feds) allege,” Brown said. “I think those are big addictions. He feels remorse and wants to make amends for it.”
Confronted with forged checks and explicit images of his torrid encounters, Dennehy agreed to plead guilty before the FBI and federal prosecutors took his case to a grand jury for indictment, records show. He faces a maximum of 30 years in federal prison when Senior U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra sentences him March 9.
An FBI affidavit said Bexar Waste hired Dennehy in 2004 as a truck stocker and recycler. In 2008, he was promoted to a position managing accounts payable and began writing checks to himself of $1,200 to $1,800, depositing them into his personal bank accounts, the affidavit said. He also wrote company checks to pay his American Express bills and began stealing larger amounts of money as time went on, the affidavit said.
He used a stamp to forge authorized signatures on the checks and changed the name of the payees in QuickBooks to conceal that the money had gone to him, the affidavit said. The fraud was not detected until this past August, the affidavit said.
Dennehy’s spending spree eclipsed that of Todd C. Seward, who pleaded guilty Nov. 19 to bank fraud and identity theft and admitted that he spent most of the $400,000 he embezzled from a former employer on strippers.
When Dennehy is sentenced, he likely will be ordered to pay restitution — a tall order given his current work. He’s a self-employed house cleaner.
“He’s trying his best, but it’s hard to get back what you spent at casinos and (on) women,” Brown said.