Hecker bankruptcy documents show $766 million debt
Minneapolis (AP) — New filings in bankruptcy court show fallen auto magnate Denny Hecker owes more than $766 million to a dozens creditors, including millions to banks and automakers and hundreds of thousands to Las Vegas casinos and credit card companies.
The documents filed late Wednesday in Hecker's personal bankruptcy case list $18 million in assets, including $5,500 in cash, $35,000 worth of watches, $5,000 worth of golf clubs and a $300,000 53-foot Hatteras yacht, which is in foreclosure.
The documents outline the businesses Hecker ran, including everything from local restaurants such as Oceanaire to auto dealerships. They also list real estate holdings of companies he controlled, including a condo in Baja, Calif.
In releasing the filing, Hecker said his total debt includes loans he has personally guaranteed. A substantial portion of the debt is secured by collateral, and Hecker has said he intends to pay back his creditors.
According to the filing, about $530 million is owed to creditors with claims secured by property.
The filings show Hecker owes $245,000 to the Mirage Casino and Hotel and $345,000 to the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. He also owes $200,000 on a Nieman-Marcus credit card.
Hecker was one of Minnesota's largest car dealers, claiming $6.8 billion worth of annual auto sales and service. But he has shuttered or sold 25 of his 26 dealerships amid the economic downtown.
Hecker's Advantage Rent A Car filed for bankruptcy protection in December, and much of the company's assets were sold at auction. The rest of the company is being liquidated. Last week, the U.S. Trustee accused Hecker of arranging leases between Advantage and other Hecker-owned companies at above-market rates and of transferring millions of dollars from Advantage to those companies before filing for bankruptcy.
Several lawsuits were filed against him. In April, a judge ruled Hecker owed Chrysler Financial up to $477 million. He filed for personal bankruptcy in early June.
Hecker also is being investigated by the Department of Public Safety amid allegations that he failed to give the state taxes and fees paid by car buyers. He has denied the allegations.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)