Six years after going to prison for defrauding Chrysler Financial and other lenders, one-time Minnesota megadealer and leasing giant Denny Hecker has been released to a federal halfway house in Minneapolis.
Famed for his high living back in the day, Hecker was convicted in 2010 of obtaining more than $80 million in loans by falsifying loan documents. He was sentenced to prison in 2011 and ordered to pay $31 million in restitution.
Before his empire collapsed, Hecker controlled 17 dealerships and 200 other businesses. His world unraveled over three years and in June 2009, he filed for bankruptcy with $767 million in debts and $18 million in assets.
Before that he flaunted his wealth, gambling in Las Vegas, flying a private jet to vacation homes in Mexico, Aspen and Arizona, and living in a Minnesota lake home with slips for 10 boats. He also married and divorced four women.
The Minneapolis StarTribune reported that Hecker's original release from a federal prison in Pekin, Ill., was set for July 2019, but later changed to July 2018. Citing the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the newspaper said prisoners are usually eligible to be transferred to a "residential re-entry center" or halfway house up to 12 months before their formal release dates.
Hecker's former bankruptcy attorney told the StarTribune he is "very much looking forward to being free again."