Judge: Jail Hecker Until Sentencing
A Monday hearing at which Denny Hecker requested to change attorneys concluded with the fallen auto mogul being taken into custody. The hearing took place in federal court in Minneapolis.
On Tuesday morning, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis signed an order requiring Hecker to remain in jail until his sentencing.
Hecker requested earlier this month to replace his public defender, Brian Toder, with his former private attorney, William Mauzy. Hecker has come under fire in recent months for not disclosing the source of his funds, and he has consistently claimed he is broke-which is why a public attorney was assigned to him.
Toder was not available for comment on Tuesday morning.
According to court documents, Hecker's friend Ralph Thomas testified at Monday's hearing. The Star Tribune reports that in his testimony, Thomas said that he paid Mauzy $55,000 in retainer and expense fees so that Mauzy could represent Hecker until his sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled but will likely take place early next year, according to media reports.
Monday's hearing took a turn when Hecker took the stand and was asked by the government why he had not repaid an account that covers the fees of public lawyers, even though he has spent “substantial amounts of money this summer,” according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. “He was unable to provide an answer to that question that satisfied Judge Davis.”
Monday's hearing will continue Wednesday afternoon-at which time Judge Davis “expects a detailed accounting of Hecker's recent expenditures,” the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
After Monday's hearing concluded, Hecker was taken into custody, and the U.S. Attorney's Office said he would remain there at least until Wednesday's hearing.
Tuesday's order extends Hecker's time in jail-and requires that Hecker remains in custody until his sentencing. It includes a provision, however, that “appropriate motions can be made to the court for his release pending sentencing.” The order also requires Hecker to provide “a full financial accounting” at Wednesday's hearing.
According to a report by the Star Tribune, Judge Davis ordered Hecker to turn over $18,000 in American Express gift cards, receipts, and information about how he spent nearly $200,000 he acquired since June from insurance policies and other sources.
Hecker filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as an individual in June 2009. He was later charged with bankruptcy fraud related to false declaration and pertaining to transfer and concealment of funds.
In Hecker's criminal case, the government accuses him of defrauding lenders by forging documents to obtain more than $100 million in loans, and he has been indicted on 26 felony charges relating to fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and bankruptcy fraud.
Hecker pleaded guilty last month to two of those 26 criminal counts.