Judge Freezes Assets of Hecker Co-Defendant Leach

The restraining order follows a request by prosecutors, who argue that the government needs to obtain the assets so that they may be available for restitution to victims of the fraud.

U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen on Monday issued an order freezing the assets of Steven Leach.

Leach-a former executive of Denny Hecker-pleaded guilty last month to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The restraining order follows a request by prosecutors, who argued that the government needs to obtain the assets so that they may be available for restitution to victims of the fraud.

According to documents filed last week by prosecutors, the government will seek a restitution order at Leach's sentencing-and it estimates that Leach is responsible for losses in excess of $15 million.

Among the frozen assets are two residencies. The first, located in Burnsville, is valued at roughly $592,000, according to court documents. The second property is in Scottsdale, Arizona, and it is worth more than $431,000.

Prosecutors also said that Leach has or until very recently had more than $1.3 million in a U.S. Bank account, as well as $81,000 in an account that he shares with his spouse. The government also alleges that Leach has “a number of investment, retirement, or other accounts with significant assets.” Monday's order also freezes those assets.

The order prevents Leach, his attorneys, his family, or anyone other than the government from selling, spending, or transferring his assets.

While working with Hecker, Leach allegedly falsified documents to lender Chrysler Financial Services, LLC, to obtain $80 million in financing for the purchase of vehicles. He faces up to five years in prison.

Hecker pleaded guilty in September to two criminal charges-one count of bankruptcy fraud and one count related to conspiracy. Prosecutors agreed to drop the 24 other criminal charges against Hecker in exchange for his guilty pleas, and he faces up to 10 years in prison. The government had accused Hecker of defrauding lenders by forging documents to obtain more than $100 million in loans.

According to media reports, both Leach and Hecker will likely be sentenced early next year.