The U.S. government's not done with jailed auto mogul Denny Hecker just yet.
The U.S. attorney's office filed papers Tuesday in federal court, saying it will garnish any property Hecker still owns to satisfy the $31.4 million judgment that he was ordered to pay as part of his sentence for fraud.
Jeanne Cooney, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office, said it is particularly interested in any stock Hecker may own.
He is in federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., serving a 10-year sentence for bankruptcy fraud and forging documents that resulted in auto lenders being defrauded out of millions of dollars.
The government believes he owns stock in an online auto-auction company called Open Lane. Open Lane is in the process of being sold to KAR Auction Services, and the government may be entitled to the proceeds, she said.
Cooney said the stock may be worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars," though she emphasized that the government is still verifying what, if any, stock Hecker may own.
The garnishment filing puts the U.S. attorney's office on a chase for Hecker's assets at the same time the trustee handling Hecker's bankruptcy case is rounding up assets for creditors.
Hecker's bankruptcy attorney John Neve said he had not seen the garnishment papers and was not prepared to comment. Neve added that he is only handling one final matter in bankruptcy court for Hecker.
Matt Burton, the attorney representing bankruptcy trustee Randy Seaver, said he also was not aware of the government's move.
Seaver has recovered about $7 million in Hecker assets for creditors. He is searching for more and has issued several subpoenas to question Hecker's friends.
When Hecker filed for bankruptcy in 2009, he reported debt of $767 million and $18 million in assets. Hecker still owes an estimated $200 million.
Cooney said that the bankruptcy case is separate from the criminal judgment, on which Hecker still owes $29.33 million. She said that the government will work with the bankruptcy estate and other Hecker creditors.
"We have the authority to pursue that money judgment and ... on behalf of the victims and on behalf of the creditors, we will pursue collection of it," Cooney said.
Hecker, 59, once owned 26 auto dealerships and fleet and leasing firms worth an estimated $6.8 billion.
Dee DePass 612-673-7725