Judge to Hecker: Stay in Jail, Swap Your Attorney
U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. Davis on Friday ordered Denny Hecker to remain in custody until he is sentenced.
The order states 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's sentencing date has not yet been scheduled but will likely take place early next year, according to media reports.
On October 18, Hecker attended a hearing in federal court in Minneapolis that he had requested in order to substitute his public attorney for private attorney William Mauzy.
After taking the stand, Hecker refused to supply a sufficient answer regarding where his money comes from and why he hasn't repaid the government for the expenses of his public attorney. Following the hearing, Davis ordered Hecker into custody and scheduled a second hearing for October 20, at which point Hecker was required to provide an accounting of his funds.
Hecker requested a three-day furlough from custody on the grounds that it would be more efficient for he and his attorneys to provide the accounting. That request was denied Friday.
According to Friday's order, Hecker misrepresented his financial situation in his October 18 testimony when he stated that he received $33,000 from the alleged sale of a Toyota Tundra, when he actually received additional profits from “a side deal” involving another vehicle sale.
Hecker has consistently claimed he is broke-which is why a public attorney was assigned to him in April to replace Mauzy, who had previously represented Hecker. Hecker is required to repay money for his public attorney if funds become available to him.
The judge said that allowing Hecker to hire Mauzy will “prevent any further abuse of taxpayer funds.” Friday's order states that $55,000 recently paid to retain Mauzy came from Hecker's friends Ralph Thomas and Ron Offutt. If the court discovers, however, that any of the money was funneled from Hecker's assets, it must be turned over.
Hecker is required to provide a weekly account of his income and expenses until he is sentenced in order for the court to determine how much money he must repay to cover his public attorney. That amount will be determined after Hecker's sentencing, the judge said.
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 was indicted on 26 felony charges relating to fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and bankruptcy fraud.
Hecker pleaded guilty last month to two of the 26 criminal counts he faced. He faces up to 10 years in prison.