Denny Hecker pleads not guilty of defrauding Chrysler for $10 million

Denny Hecker pleaded not guilty today in federal court of defrauding Chrysler Financial Corp. out of $10 million, and walked away under orders to wear an electronic monitoring device around his ankle and to give up his passport. The plea came after he was indicted Wednesday on charges that he masterminded a far-reaching web of fraud to swindle lenders and others out of millions of dollars.

Steve Leach, who once worked with Hecker, also appeared in court today and pleaded not guilty to a similar charge. In addition to the federal charges, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and other auto makers have sued Hecker and his companies last year for failing to make good on hundreds of millions of dollars in loans. He filed for personal bankruptcy last June claiming $767 million in personal debts against $18.5 million in assets.

Full story in the Strib.

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