A fraud case that will soon be tried before a federal court in Minnesota offers lessons for those involved in, or contemplating, a California divorce. Denny Hecker was indicted last week by a federal grand jury “in what prosecutors say was a scheme to defraud lenders of millions of dollars,” according to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. Hecker once controlled a series of car dealerships, car rental companies and an auto leasing business. Last year, however, he filed for personal bankruptcy, citing debts of $767 million according to the paper.
Divorce factors into this story because Hecker is still working his way through a contentious marital split. His ex-wife accuses him of hiding assets – continuing “to live lavishly despite claiming to be broke,” according to the Pioneer-Press. That claim is echoed by some of Hecker’s creditors.
This complex case is a reminder of the importance of careful planning in one’s approach to a California divorce. Leaving aside the question of whether or not Hecker has deceived his ex-wife and creditors, it is extremely unwise to place oneself in a position where one is even vulnerable to the accusation.
A skilled Orange County Divorce lawyer will not only negotiate on his or her clients’ behalf, but can also offer invaluable advice on ways to structure and present assets with an eye toward reaching the best settlement possible. Hecker’s problems are, perhaps, a bit more difficult than most, if only because his case is playing out so publicly.
When consulting with a Costa Mesa or Anaheim family law attorney it is important to take advantage of the privileged environment that exists during meetings with your California divorce attorney. Your attorney’s job is to offer advice and to defend your interests. He or she is best able to do that when you share every important and pertinent piece of information with them.
St. Paul Pioneer-Press: Hecker pleads not guilty to fraud charges