DA Guilderland man paid kidnapper to solve business dispute

ALBANY ––A Guilderland man appearing in Albany County Court Monday paid $1,500 to have his business associate kidnapped for $400,000 ransom in order to settle a financial dispute between the two, reported Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

James B. Hennesey, 53, allegedly solicited an unidentified third party in February, paying them $100 to have a conversation about a possible abduction and provided his business associate’s home address, according to an indictment handed down by an Albany County grand jury on April 18. The indictment states Hennesey then paid the third party $1,500 in the first week of March to abduct the victim from his home. The alleged conversations and crimes took place at Hennesey’s residence at 5803 Depot Road in Guilderland, reported the indictment. According to court documents, he was originally charged in Town of Guilderland Court.

The two men had an ongoing business relationship involving property restorations but, Soares told The Enterprise they were involved in a contractor-payment dispute in which Hennesey felt he was owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The business relationship was in dispute,” said Soares. “There was a payment made by the victim to the defendant but the sum of payment was in dispute. The defendant did not share the opinion of the victim as to amount,” he said.

Protecting the victim, his wife, and children, was a priority for state police Soares said, explaining the incident had left the family “feeling very vulnerable.” He added police also worked closely with the alleged victim in the investigation. “Even now, after apprehending the defendant, we’re still very concerned with the family,” he said.

The Enterprise is withholding the name of the victim. Hennesey’s defense attorney, Robert Molloy, did not return calls in time to comment on the case.

The indictment reports Hennesey tried to arrange the kidnapping for a two-month period between Feb. 1 and April 2.

“This was much more than just an expression of intention to do something, (the defendant) took actual steps to bring harm to this individual,” said Soares.

Hennesey was arrested April 2 by the New York State Police and arraigned Monday before Supreme Court Justice Dan Lamont. He pleaded not guilty to all seven felonies. He has been indicted on two counts of attempted kidnapping, two counts of conspiracy and one count each of criminal solicitation, attempted grand larceny and attempted burglary.

He faces up to 25 years in state prison if convicted and is currently in the Albany County jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, reported prosecutors.

More Guilderland News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.