Hecker’s Girlfriend Rowan to Learn Fate Feb. 25
Exactly two weeks after Denny Hecker appeared before U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen and received a 10-year prison sentence, Hecker's girlfriend will stand before the same judge to learn her own fate.
Christi Rowan is scheduled to be sentenced on the morning of February 25. She pleaded guilty in April to one count of bank fraud and one count of bankruptcy fraud related to actions that she took to purchase a vehicle for Hecker in 2009.
Late last month, federal prosecutors recommended that Rowan be sentenced to six months in prison, the maximum sentence under federal guidelines.
Rowan allegedly falsified a W-2 form in April 2009 in an attempt to qualify for a loan for a Range Rover sought by Hecker. She claimed on the loan application that she earned $189,500 in 2008 when she actually earned $72,000 and indicated that she was employed as an attorney when she was actually employed as an account executive, prosecutors contend.
The government argued in its pre-sentencing papers that in addition to the misrepresentations made in connection with Hecker's vehicle purchase, Rowan has demonstrated “a pattern of deception” over a period of many years.
She is accused of providing false information on tax returns, lying to a U.S. probation officer by stating that she had finished making payments on the Range Rover obtained for Hecker, falsely telling that same probation officer that she had been employed by Hecker, falsely claiming that she was an independent contractor for one of Hecker's companies when she filed for unemployment benefits, and writing checks from an empty bank account at Wayzata-based TCF Financial, thus resulting in a loss for the bank.
The government added that a six-month sentence “reflects the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant, for whom deception appears to have become a way of life.”
Rowan filed her own court documents requesting a sentence at the lower end of the zero- to six-month range that the guidelines call for, saying that she has cooperated with investigators and has a responsibility to care for her two children.
Her pre-sentencing papers indicate that her children-ages 14 and 6-“rely on their mother for all of their daily needs, and it would be very difficult for them to lose the care and comfort of their mom for any period of time.”
Throughout Hecker's saga, he and Rowan generated numerous headlines by allegedly concealing assets, failing to provide requested documents, and even attempting an impromptu wedding—which was halted by the government.
Rowan will be the fourth defendant to be sentenced for crimes related to Hecker's fraud. James Gustafson was sentenced to two years probation, 120 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine. Steven Leach received a sentence of 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $14.2 million in restitution.