- Associated Press - Friday, October 6, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Disgraced former Minnesota auto dealer Denny Hecker remains in federal prison, not in a halfway house as his attorney reported earlier this week.

The federal Bureau of Prisons said Friday that Hecker’s attorney misspoke when she said Hecker had been sent to a halfway house in Minneapolis. A spokesman told the Star Tribune he remained incarcerated in Pekin, Illinois.

Hecker’s former bankruptcy attorney, Barbara May, said he called her this week and told her he was in the halfway house. She said the call was not collect, as it normally would be from prison, so she had no reason to doubt him.

Hecker has served seven years of a 10-year sentence for fraud. He once owned 26 dealerships and a car rental agency, but his business collapsed during the Great Recession. He filed for bankruptcy in 2009, owing $767 million. His official release date is July 2018, which makes him eligible for transfer to a halfway house now. But his criminal defense attorney, Bill Mauzy, said Hecker’s release is now uncertain.

Hecker had been told he was to be placed in pre-release custody at a halfway house in Minneapolis, (but) he has now been told the placement is not available at this time,” Mauzy said. “On the day of his scheduled transfer to the halfway house and after media reports, Mr. Hecker was told that the halfway house no longer had the resources to accommodate him, and the attention he would bring.”

“I just know what my client told me,” she said. “Obviously something political has happened here, and someone’s toes got stepped on. Apparently (Hecker) crossed someone and was not supposed to tell someone he was out.”

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Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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