The twisted tale of jailed auto mogul Denny Hecker just got a new chapter. His wife is free from prison.
After serving 12 months for bank fraud and bankruptcy fraud, Hecker's brazen bride, Christi Rowan Hecker, was fully released from the federal corrections system this week, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed Wednesday.
She was sentenced to a 14-month term but was released early after complying with federal prison guidelines. She will be on probation for the next five years.
Meanwhile, her husband, the blustery and self-made former auto mogul, Denny Hecker, won't be out of prison until July 2019. And the geographic distance between them has increased. Rowan Hecker, who married the jailed Denny Hecker in a telephone ceremony just over a year ago, is living in the Twin Cities area, according the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Attempts to locate her Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Hecker, who is serving a 10-year sentence for bankruptcy fraud and defrauding auto lenders, was recently transferred from the minimum-security federal prison camp in Duluth and remains en route to an undisclosed prison. He is temporarily being housed at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said Wednesday.
Hecker's former attorney, Brian Toder, has said Hecker got into repeated trouble for violating prison phone rules while in Duluth, which may have caused the Bureau of Prisons to relocate him to make a point about authority. Toder also has said that Hecker may have been perceived to be a flight risk.
Friends and family members say the gregarious Hecker has not been in contact since December. He was placed in solitary confinement in Duluth before being moved to Terre Haute.
As for Rowan Hecker, prison is behind her. She initially served 10 months in a federal women's prison in Greenville, Ill., before being transferred in November to a halfway house in the Twin Cities, so she could be near her teenage daughter and son.
One of the conditions of release to the halfway house was that she obtain a job. She did and then was placed under home confinement on Jan. 18 before being released Tuesday, Burke said.
It remains to be seen if she'll be allowed to travel out of state. Such requests usually require the approval of the probation officer and the court.
Rowan Hecker's initial jailing came abruptly a little more than a year ago after prosecutors learned that she had stolen gift cards belonging to Hecker that were supposed to have been turned over to the FBI. She previously had pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud and bankruptcy fraud for lying on a car loan application and helping Denny Hecker hide assets from the bankruptcy court.
Hecker and Rowan Hecker were repeatedly accused of living a lavish lifestyle and spending money while simultaneously claiming that they had no money and needed public defenders to represent them against criminal charges.
Matthew Burton, who represents bankruptcy trustee Randy Seaver, declined to comment Wednesday about Rowan Hecker's release. Seaver and Burton continue to look for hidden assets and are deposing several of Hecker and Rowan Hecker's friends about their knowledge of Hecker's financial affairs.
Officials from the U.S. attorney's office also declined to comment when contacted Wednesday by the Star Tribune.
Dee DePass • 612-673-7725