Denny Hecker, Steve Leach indicted in scheme to defraud lenders

Denny Hecker, the once high-flying auto dealer magnate, was indicted today by a grand jury 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, was also indicted. Both men face one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud.

Hecker was also charged with one count of money laundering.

Hecker's indictment is just one more ticket on what now appears to be a never-ending ride of personal and professional ruin for a guy who once lorded over 26 auto dealerships. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and other auto makers 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.

More in the Strib.

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