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Steven Leach, Denny Hecker crony, headed to prison

Hecker is scheduled for sentencing on Friday.

Hecker is scheduled for sentencing on Friday.

Steven Leach conspired with disgraced auto mogul Denny Hecker to hoodwink Chrysler Financial into multimillion dollar finance packages. Now he's going to federal prison for two years, and he's been ordered to pay $14 million in restitution.

And that's just a prelude for what's to come: Hecker's sentencing on Feb. 11.

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Leach had previously pleaded guilty to his role in a Hecker scheme to make it look as though a plan to purchase thousands of Hyundai vehicles was less risky than it really was. Hecker secured an $80,000 loan from Chrysler Financial as a result.

Hecker, already wallowing in $767 million-worth of personal bankruptcy, faces a possible decade in prison when he's sentenced Friday. He made a last-ditch plea for leniency last week by admitting to a multitude of lousy decisions fueled in part by a problem with drugs.

Whether that 11th hour mea culpa helps his case remains to be seen. Joseph Daily, a criminal law professor at Hamline University, told us he doubts it will make any difference at all.