Rowan Arrested For Violating Release Conditions
Christi Rowan-the girlfriend of fallen auto mogul Denny Hecker-was arrested Wednesday night for violating the conditions of her release while waiting to be sentenced for two fraud charges.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Thomas Volk confirmed Thursday morning that Rowan was arrested at the Sherburne County Jail and remains in custody.
According to court documents filed Wednesday by prosecutors, Rowan obtained $9,000 in estate assets from a dividend check. She allegedly deposited the check into Hecker's bank account and withdrew the money without disclosing the funds to the bankruptcy court.
This violated the terms of her release, which prohibit her from using or transferring any and all estate property. Rowan pleaded guilty in April to one count of bank fraud and one count of bankruptcy fraud related to actions that she took to purchase a vehicle for Hecker in 2009.
Prosecutors also allege that Rowan used gift cards that were supposed to be liquidated and used to reimburse the government for Hecker's public defender.
“Rowan's pattern of deception did not stop with her guilty plea, did not stop when Hecker was taken into custody, did not stop when the bankruptcy court ordered her not to spend estate assets, and did not stop when this court ordered gift cards frozen in the Hecker case,” the court documents said.
Prosecutors had previously recommended that Rowan be sentenced to six months in prison, but have since revised their recommendation to one year. Prosecutors said that in light of the “newly discovered post-plea conduct,” she is no longer entitled to a reduced sentence under the acceptance of responsibility clause outlined in her plea agreement.
“The government believes [Rowan's pattern of deception] will not stop unless Rowan receives a wake-up call from this court,” documents said.
Rowan-who is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday-has requested probation, saying that she has cooperated with investigators and has a responsibility to care for her two children.
On Thursday, Rowan's attorney filed a motion requesting that her sentencing date be delayed two weeks so she can review the allegations prosecutors made on Wednesday.
“Ms. Rowan has had inadequate time to evaluate the government's new factual allegations and to determine if she will request an evidentiary hearing. Her ability to meet with counsel and evaluate these allegations became more difficult when she was taken into custody yesterday evening by U.S. Marshals, presumably on a warrant relating to the government's new allegations,” the motion said.
Rowan will be the fourth defendant to be sentenced for crimes related to Hecker's fraud. Hecker received the maximum 10-year-prison sentence earlier this month for his role in the fraud. James Gustafson was sentenced to two years probation, 120 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine. Steven Leach received a sentence of 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $14.2 million in restitution.