MaryJo Webster, St. Paul Pioneer Press , Published February 09 2012
Hecker moved from Duluth prison camp to medium-security Wisconsin prison
Prison officials moved Hecker, 59, sometime Wednesday, or possibly overnight, from a minimum-security prison camp in Duluth to a facility in Oxford, Wis., 60 miles north of Madison.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons increased Hecker's security classification, but has not provided a reason for the change, according to Minneapolis attorney Brian Toder, who has been helping Hecker recently.
"We're trying to figure that out now," Toder said this morning. "We'll know something more after the weekend."
Toder said there are rumors that federal authorities believe Hecker might be a flight risk, but he said he didn't know anything more specific.
Once the owner of a large network of auto businesses in the Twin Cities, Hecker pleaded guilty to charges that he hid assets in his bankruptcy and defrauded lenders. He is serving a 10-year sentence.
The medium-security facility is a substantial change from the Duluth prison camp, which is one of the lowest-security facilities in the federal prison system with little or no perimeter fencing.
The camps are work- and program-oriented, have dormitory-style housing and recreational opportunities like racquetball and tennis.
Medium security facilities have double fences with electronic detection systems, mostly cell-type housing and higher inmate-to-staff ratios.
"The higher the level of security, the tougher the time is," Toder said.
In December, Hecker was moved into a segregated housing unit - away from the general population - at the Duluth prison.
Toder said Hecker was also penalized for having obtained a cell phone, but Toder doesn't believe that offense is related to his move to Oxford.
Hecker's move comes at the same time as a new investigation by the trustee in Hecker's massive bankruptcy case. Trustee Randy Seaver recently started conducting depositions and collecting information, possibly hunting for more hidden assets.
Seaver is questioning several individuals who have had contact with Hecker and his wife, Christi Rowan-Hecker, since they were both incarcerated last year. He wants to ask them about the Heckers' assets and financial affairs, according to court documents filed in December.
The trustee also requested the Federal Bureau of Prisons to turn over all emails between the couple.
On Feb. 28th, Rowan-Hecker is expected to complete a 14-month sentence for aiding Hecker in his bankruptcy fraud. She is currently living in a Federal Bureau of Prisons halfway house in Minneapolis and has a job.