Leach Argues Hecker Should Pay Bulk of Restitution

Steven Leach says that Denny Hecker should pay "most" of the restitution that he owes to Chrysler Financial, but prosecutors argue that Leach "played a crucial role" in defrauding Chrysler and should be held responsible.

Steven Leach, a former executive of fallen auto mogul Denny Hecker, is arguing that Hecker should pay “most” of the $16.2 million in restitution that he owes to Chrysler Financial Services, LLC.

According to documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court, prosecutors are asking the court to deny Leach's request, saying he “played a crucial role” in defrauding Chrysler and that he should be held responsible.

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.

Leach did not specify how he thinks the restitution should be shared between the two men, other than asserting that Hecker should be ordered to pay “most” of it. Court documents filed by prosecutors say that Leach “is presumably arguing that he should have to pay less because he had a lesser role than Hecker's.”

But prosecutors argue that Leach played an essential role in the conspiracy and previously admitted as much.

“Leach agreed in the plea agreement and through his response to the [pre-sentencing report] that a large portion of the total restitution amount was foreseeable to him and that he should be held accountable for it,” the documents said. “Accordingly, it is not appropriate for him to now argue, even in passing, for an apportionment order.”

Prosecutors also argued that Hecker is already being forced to pay a greater restitution amount that Leach-$29.7 million in total-given his more substantial role in the conspiracy.

Leach was indicted with Hecker in February for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In October, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and faces up to five years in prison.

Both Leach and Hecker-who faces up to 10 years in prison-are expected to be sentenced early this year. Hecker has been in prison since October for violating several court orders. Earlier this month, his request to be released from prison and placed under house arrest was denied by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis.