TAMPA — Patrick Harold Dean came to DigiQuest Technologies Inc., with great credentials.
He held multiple high-level information technology certifications. He had great contacts from his prior job at WanForce Technologies. And it seemed he could sell.
No one could have guessed in 2004 that Dean, who was promoted to chief operating officer, would become the center of a police investigation, accused of embezzling nearly $1-million from DigiQuest.
"He was a very pleasant, well-spoken and easy-to-get-along-with guy," DigiQuest owner Thomas Bean said on Friday.
Dean, 44, was arrested on Thursday, charged with multiple counts of grand theft, schemes to defraud and making false entry on corporate books.
Police say Dean of 4317 Waterford Landing Drive in Lutz embezzled about $952,500 in company money. An investigation indicated that Dean ordered equipment the company didn't need, then resold it at home for personal profit.
DigiQuest provides IT services to small companies, including hosting, Web design, custom applications, graphic design, software maintenance and training.
Bean said Dean's activities began to come to light last year when a vendor contacted the company, saying Dean owed him money for equipment DigiQuest had no record of ordering.
Bean fired Dean immediately. "Your whole organization feels betrayed when someone like this does something like this," he said.
Dean posted $77,000 bail shortly after turning himself in. He could not be reached by phone on Friday.