A federal judge today sentenced Hecker, 58, to a maximum 10-year sentence after the car mogul, known for his advertisements decorating Twin Cities' public transportation, was found guilty on charges of bankruptcy and wire fraud.
Prosecutors accused Hecker of cheating an auto financing company and other associates out of tens of millions of dollars in a case that has been going on since September.
Here are five facts on Hecker, compliments of Surge Desk.
1. He didn't get much mercy from the judge
"It all adds up to, you don't get a break," Judge Joan Ericksen told Hecker, ignoring the defendant's request for a more lenient eight-year sentence rather than the maximum 10 years.
2. He started small
In 1970, Hecker began selling used vehicles while still in high school. He eventually amassed an empire that included 26 car dealerships, restaurant and real estate investments, a mortgage brokerage company and Advantage Rent-A-Car.
3. He lived an extravagant lifestyle
Hecker had a reputation for being a big spender, pouring money into things like a 52-foot yacht, a private jet, multimillion-dollar homes, exotic vacations, luxury gifts for friends and, of course, very expensive cars.
4. But it was a lifestyle he eventually lost control of
"I did it because my ego was so big," Hecker said as he was sentenced. "I thought I could conquer anything."
5. His story is told in song
Presenting Jeff Horwich's "See a Mogul Fall," performed live on Twin Cities Public Television's "Almanac."
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