Denny Hecker To Serve One Less Year In Prison
High-profile auto dealership tycoon and convicted fraudster Denny Hecker is having his sentence reduced.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed to the Star Tribune on Thursday that Hecker’s expected release date would be July 4, 2018 instead of July 4, 2019. Authorities declined to say why the decision was made.
“The reason for an inmate’s sentence reduction is not always public information, such as in this case,” bureau spokesman Justin Long told the newspaper.
Hecker was originally indicted in February 2010 for falsifying documents to obtain $80 million in financing from Chrysler Financial and then filing for personal bankruptcy to avoid paying off his lenders. He was later incarcerated on October 2010 on single counts of bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy for a maximum sentence of ten years behind bars.
Hecker began his sentence in a minimum-security federal prison in Duluth, although he has bounced around to federal prisons in Indiana, Wisconsin, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and most recently Pekin, Illinois.
The Minneapolis native entered the auto business at age 19 and built an empire of 26 dealerships. His meteoric rise—galvanized by the success of his Advantage Rent-A-Car chain and investments in glam restaurants in the Warehouse District—transitioned into an Icarus-like fall once the Great Recession hit. At its peak, Hecker’s many business operations amassed annual sales of nearly $7 billion.
Today, Hecker’s slew of dealerships have found new life and many are no longer car lots. In 2014, the Oak Park Height City Council approved Hecker’s former Stillwater location to be revived as a gun range. Another in Pine City was sold to the area’s school district and one in Shakopee became a park-and-ride transit hub. Not all Hecker dealerships were disbanded, however, as his former Southview Chevrolet dealership in Inver Grove Heights became Mauer Chevrolet, named after a member of the ownership group, Billy Mauer, brother of Twins player Joe.