Judge Denies Hecker’s Request to Leave Prison

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis ruled that the former auto mogul must remain in jail until his sentencing later this year.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis on Tuesday denied Denny Hecker's request to be released from prison and placed under house arrest until he is sentenced later this year in his criminal case.

According to Davis' courtroom deputy Kristine Wegner, Davis cited his previous order-which in October put Hecker behind bars until his sentencing-when he denied the motion.

In that order, Davis said that Hecker has lost credibility with the court and “has demonstrated an ability to obtain and conceal large amounts of money.” It also says that Hecker “flagrantly and repeatedly violates court orders,” and he is a flight risk.

Hecker filed a motion on Friday saying that he should be granted house arrest because he “will not flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community.”

The documents claim that Hecker has not done anything since September 2010 to indicate that he is a flight risk or a danger to the public and that there is no evidence to suggest that house arrest is insufficient to protect the public and ensure that Hecker will not flee before his sentencing.

On Monday, prosecutors filed a response saying that Hecker's argument is “without merit.”

Prosecutors argued that despite restrictive conditions imposed by the court, Hecker continued to commit crimes and violate court orders while on release. For example, prosecutors claim that Hecker received money after he pleaded guilty-about $40,000 from a 401(k) account, about $15,000 from a settlement in bankruptcy, and about $10,000 in a loan from a friend-all of which violated the conditions of his release.

In addition, prosecutors claim that Hecker committed perjury at an October 18 hearing when he testified that he received $33,000 from the alleged sale of a Toyota Tundra; he also allegedly received money from profits on another vehicle sale that was part of a side deal.

“Even when placed under restrictive conditions, he has committed serious crimes and has violated order after order, including since he pled guilty,” prosecutors said in court documents.

In his motion, Hecker claimed that he was unfairly taken into custody on October 18 because the hearing that took place that day was only supposed to cover his request to change attorneys. Hecker said in the motion that he was not prepared to testify about his spending and assets.

Court documents indicate that Hecker's sentencing date has not been formally set, although media reports indicate that it will likely take place early this year. Hecker faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the two criminal charges.

Hecker was indicted in February on federal charges of conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering. The federal government revised its plan of attack in July by dropping some of the charges and adding others, resulting in 26 total counts against him, including 11 counts related to bankruptcy fraud. In September, Hecker pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud and one related to conspiracy-and prosecutors in exchange dropped all of the other criminal charges.

In addition to the criminal charges that he faces, Hecker filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as an individual in June 2009. After Hecker pleaded guilty in his criminal case, prosecutors filed wave after wave of documents accusing Hecker of shifty moves in his bankruptcy case, including allegations that he and his girlfriend collaborated to hide assets from the court. In addition, Hecker was accused in November of trying to arrange an impromptu wedding, which was stopped by U.S. Marshals. And in court documents filed in December, Hecker admitted to buying back his own property at a bankruptcy auction earlier this year.