USA: Minnesota Auto Mogul Hecker HQ Raided for Possible Fraud
June 2009 | by Eric Kelsey
The Minnesota State Patrol raided Denny Hecker Automotive Group headquarters in St. Louis Park, along with two car dealerships and three of Denny Hecker’s homes, on Wednesday morning.
Government agents arrived at 9 a.m. at the company headquarters to execute a search warrant, according to Hecker’s criminal lawyer, Marsh Halberg.....
...Skoogman said that consumers have told the state that Hecker Automotive failed to pay off lender liens on trade-in vehicles and failed to turn over sales tax paid by consumers on vehicle sales.
Both allegations are felony crimes for which Hecker Automotive will be prosecuted in Minnesota District Court if a criminal complaint is filed.
This is how capitalism is suppose to work. Risk and Reward. Success and Failure. It is a sign of the times. If you have purchased a vehicle from the Hecker Group but have not received your title yet, please see my related article, "Buyer in the Ordinary Course of Business"
Denny Hecker has been an Automotive Car Dealership Mogul in the Minnesota for more than a decade. Now, in these trying times, his empire is collapsing in the most ugly way.
The unpaid sales tax and unpaid trade in liens, are a symptom of human nature. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. I have seen it happen before. A car dealership runs into hard times financially. They don't know how long the down turn will last. They take funds that should go to one set of expenses and apply them to something more pressing like payroll, insurance, the title transfer that should have already been done before the latest one, the lien on a previous trade in that should have already have been paid and before you know it, all hope of continuing business is financially impossible and it all collapses leaving many Pauls empty handed because Peter got paid.
I am not excusing the situation. I can just understand how a person gets into this position of not intending to break the law or hurt anybody.
How many times before when there was a cash flow problem did Denny Hecker, or any other car dealer, put off transferring titles or paying of liens on trade-ins so they could make payroll. How many times did this Cash management scheme work, allow the dealer to hold on for a better day or the next sale, that kept him in business.
I don't know if Denny Hecker intended for this to happen, or it snuck up on him. I don't know if Denny Hecker at some point in time knew it was all over, and pulled money out for himself.
The point of the matter is we should wait before we pass judgment.
The point of the matter is Denny Hecker should make those innocent consumers whole. The state should make repaying the liens on transfers and completing title transfers a priority over collecting sales tax. The State has far more leverage over Mr. Hecker in recovering its collected but unpaid sales tax, than any common consumer does in forcing Mr. Hecker to pay off their trade in liens and/or transfer titles for vehicles that have already been sold. The financial impact on a family being put back under the yoke of a debt they thought they had taken care of upon trade in, may be the straw that breaks the financial back of many more already struggling Minnesota families.
Capitalism is messy. It has been reported that several Hecker homes and properties have been seized through foreclosure. It is rumored that a private jet has recently been recovered. Some of his children and grandchildren have withdrawn from prestigious private schools. So those who were injured and wanted some portion of a pound of justice and those person who simply feel better at the realization of Shadenfreude, should now feel fulfilled.
But, at least no taxpayer money was used for a bailout.
The Cynical Patriot