Hecker’s Attorney Requests 8-Year Prison Sentence
An attorney for Denny Hecker filed court documents on Wednesday requesting an eight-year prison sentence for the former auto mogul-below the maximum 10-year sentence that prosecutors requested.
In the 47-page filing, Hecker's attorney William Mauzy argued that Hecker-who is accused of defrauding lenders by forging documents to obtain more than $100 million in loans-has complied with the conditions of his plea agreement and has accepted responsibility for his charges, thus deserving a reduced sentence.
Hecker was indicted in February 2010 on several federal charges and later pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud and one count related to conspiracy.
In addition, the documents state that economic factors played a “strong aggravating role” in the loss amount-$23 million-associated with Hecker's fraud scheme.
“Specifically, the depressed market for resale of leased automobiles through auctions in 2008 and 2009 caused Hecker's collateral for his financing to be worth less than it would have been in prior years or in the present,” the documents stated.
Mauzy requested that Hecker serve his sentence at the federal prison camp in Duluth and participate in a residential drug abuse program. The court documents say that “there is ample evidence that alcohol and prescription drug abuse played a role in his offenses, particularly his bankruptcy fraud convictions.”
Mauzy also asked the court to grant a self-surrender date three weeks after the sentencing date-which is scheduled for February 11-and that Hecker be released to home incarceration with GPS monitoring so he can “personally say goodbye to his children and close friends.”
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors filed court documents last month outlining why they believe Hecker should receive the maximum 10-year-sentence.
Prosecutors said that Hecker cheated the bankruptcy system through nearly a dozen major fraud schemes “all designed with the single goal of furthering Hecker's high-flying lifestyle.”
The government states that Hecker ignored court orders and lied to the court when he thought it would benefit him, “thus demonstrating contempt for the judicial process.”
“What is unique and most remarkable about this case, what sets Hecker apart from other defendants, is that Hecker committed each of these relatively ordinary crimes over and over and over, year after year after year,” prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors purport that Hecker's high-profile case is a distinct one, and a tough sentence will set an example.
“Members of the public rightly wondered time and again how Hecker was able to 'get away' with gaming the system on so many occasions,” prosecutors wrote. “In this case, as well as in the bankruptcy proceeding, Hecker did not get away with it, and a strong sentence will reinforce that message.”
Two of Hecker's co-defendants will also be sentenced this month-Steven Leach on February 8 and James Gustafson on February 3.