Denny Hecker coverage

Hecker rants, rambles, says he was the victim of liars

  • Article by: DEE DEPASS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 25, 2011 - 7:50 PM

In a penciled letter to a judge, the soon-to-be sentenced Hecker accuses even own former lawyer.

Denny Hecker

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Failed auto mogul Denny Hecker submitted a handwritten, seven-page letter to a bankruptcy judge, accusing the bankruptcy trustee and his former attorney of lying and committing a fraud against the court.

In the letter dated Jan. 17, the jailed auto dealer told U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Kressel that trustee Randy Seaver, Seaver's attorney Matt Burton, and attorneys from Chrysler Financial "stood before you and lied to you!"

Hecker calls Seaver "very sneaky" and alleges that the trustee and Chrysler Financial paid a former Hecker employee for internal company e-mails. Hecker insisted the information obtained in July 2009 was protected under attorney-client privilege. He went on to complain that Seaver and Chrysler were not being held accountable for their perjury and that they showed Kressel a lack of respect.

The letter, at times disjointed and difficult to follow, was filed with the court Monday.

Burton told the Star Tribune Tuesday: "To the extent that [Hecker is] accusing Randy or me of lying to the court, we categorically deny that."

Hecker's defense attorney, Bill Mauzy, said his client's letter to Judge Robert Kressel "was not part of my sentencing strategy for Mr. Hecker. I don't want to comment further. My view is that the letter is totally unrelated to the sentencing process.''

Hecker wrote that his former bankruptcy attorney, Bill Skolnick, also lied to the court about the source of a $75,000 check used to help Hecker keep his Medina house for a time. Skolnick was not available for comment Tuesday.

Burton added that "If someone were to look at the bankruptcy court's docket and also look at the record in the criminal case, there is ample evidence that Mr. Hecker has engaged in a long-standing and unrelenting course of dishonesty. ... Even if the debtor's letter were intelligible, the debtor's allegations should be viewed in that context."

Hecker faces up to 10 years in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud and for defrauding auto lenders out of more than $80 million. He pleaded guilty to those charges in September and is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 11.

'Trying to torture me'

Hecker's letter largely focused on Seaver, who has proved to be Hecker's No. 1 nemesis. In his letter, Hecker talks about "Seaver trying to torture me."

Since Hecker filed for bankruptcy in June 2009, Seaver has repeatedly found instances where Hecker hid cars, recreational vehicles, jewelry, cash and insurance money from the bankruptcy estate, all while claiming he was broke.

Seaver's work ultimately led Kressel to rule against Hecker, refusing to forgive his $80 million debt to Chrysler Financial. Hecker ultimately gave up his bankruptcy case and pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud in September.

Hecker insists in his letter that "I am not saying that I am not guilty at all. ... I am not denying any of the charges I plead guilty to."

Then he goes on to swing big punches at his legal foes.

In another part of the pencil-written letter he wrote, "The BK fraud -- as both [Chrysler Financial and] Seaver stood in front of you under oath they had nothing. Seaver kept attacking me as a lier. [sic] They repeated lieing [sic] to you at least one more time."

Burton said the letter lacks details and is so incomprehensible that it is difficult to know exactly how to respond.

It is unclear if Hecker's letter could affect his sentencing next month.

Prosecutors are asking Judge Joan Ericksen to sentence Hecker for the entire 10 years he faces. They also want him to be ordered to pay victims $30 million in restitution.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725

  • about this series

  • More than two years of coverage tells the story of Denny Hecker, 58, and his journey from well-known Minnesota auto magnate to convicted felon currently serving a 10-year federal sentence.

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