Co-Defendant in Hecker Case Pleads Guilty

The codefendant of fallen auto mogul Denny Hecker accepted a plea agreement and was set to formally plead guilty on Oct. 1 for his part in a scheme that defrauded Chrysler Financial of millions of dollars, according to the Star Tribune.

Steven Leach's admission of guilt follows guilty pleas by Hecker and a former co-worker, James Gustafson, earlier in September. The guilty pleas culminate the two-year saga of Hecker's auto empire misadventures.

Under the plea agreement, Leach faces a maximum of five years in prison. Hecker changed his plea to guilty on Sept. 7 and now faces up to 10 years in prison.

Hecker had already identified Leach as his co-conspirator, and former Hecker employee James Gustafson pleaded guilty on Sept. 27 to mail fraud and lying to FBI and IRS investigators. He also admitted to prosecutors that he heard Leach instruct a low-level employee to alter loan documents in late 2007.

Those falsified documents, which the government said Hecker initially ordered, overstated the collateral Hecker had on a fleet of Hyundai vehicles. Based on the faked papers, Chrysler Financial loaned Hecker's leasing firm $80 million.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

 
 

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

What a Connected Fleet Means to Avis (and Car Rental)

Counter bypass is just the beginning. The promise of a “data-driven ecosystem” that connects renters with the rental agency, retail services, and even the city is a better managed fleet, an improved user experience, and new revenue opportunities during the rental itself.

Should Peer-to-Peer Renters Pay Airport Car Rental Fees?

The question is central to the City of San Francisco’s lawsuit against Turo for operating without a permit at San Francisco International Airport.

Hard Times Ahead for the Compact SUV Segment?

The hottest segment today is facing a glut of models and volume in tomorrow’s wholesale market.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.

>