Hecker Accuses Lawyer, Trustee Of Lying

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Disgraced Twin Cities auto dealer Denny Hecker has written a letter to a bankruptcy judge accusing a bankruptcy trustee and his own former attorney of lying.

Hecker, who pleaded guilty last September to conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud charges, claimed that his former lawyer lied about the source of $75,000 that Hecker used to secure the title to his home in Medina.

Hecker said a bankruptcy-court trustee then figured out the lawyer’s deceit and used that information to blackmail the lawyer into revealing information about Hecker that hurt his bankruptcy case.

“I am not saying I am not guilty at all,” Hecker wrote in the handwritten letter dated Jan. 17. However, he said, he was upset that the others “stood before you and lied to you.”

Hecker, 58, faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced Feb. 11 on criminal fraud charges. Throughout the bankruptcy case and before being jailed in October, he was repeatedly accused of hiding assets and squandering money on luxuries.

In his letter, which was released this week, Hecker said his former attorney, William Skolnick, lied about where Hecker came up with the $75,000. Then, he wrote, court-appointed trustee Randall Seaver learned of those lies and exploited that information.

Neither Skolnick nor Seaver has “been held accountable for their perjury and lack of respect for you and your court,” he wrote.

Skolnick and Barbara May, Hecker’s current bankruptcy attorney, did not immediately return messages left by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Seaver’s attorney, Matt Burton, said of the letter: “This is coming from a person who’s pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud.”

Once the owner of a large auto dealership network, Hecker went bankrupt after he couldn’t repay loans to Chrysler Financial he had personally guaranteed. He was later charged with defrauding the company and other lenders.

Last year he put up $75,000 for a settlement with the bankruptcy estate to secure the title to the home and a baby grand piano. At the time, Burton said he was told the money was from one of Hecker’s longtime business associates. But Burton later told the judge he learned the money had come from trust funds for Hecker’s children and grandchildren.

Hecker claimed he wasn’t responsible for the misinformation.

As recently as 2008, Hecker owned 26 auto dealerships as well as other businesses, and was recognizable around the Twin Cities for his frequent appearances in his own advertising.

But a federal indictment claimed that in the fall of 2007, he and a company executive gave fraudulent documents to Chrysler Financial to obtain $80 million in financing. Chrysler Financial issued the loan and lost more than $10 million.

Hecker filed for bankruptcy in 2009, claiming $787 million in debt and $18.5 million in assets.

His seven-page letter to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel ended with Hecker imploring the judge to take his claims seriously.

“You may throw this in the garbage can, thinking it’s a bad person with sour feelings,” Hecker wrote. “I am not.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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