MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A federal judge has sentenced former Minnesota auto magnate Denny Hecker to a maximum 10 years in prison on fraud charges.

U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen Lancaster granted prosecutors' request for the most severe sentence. They said Hecker lied to lenders and hid assets from a bankruptcy court.

Hecker, 58, built a business empire that grew to 26 auto dealerships and an assortment of other enterprises before it imploded in 2008.

He pleaded guilty last September to conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud charges. Prosecutors said he cheated Chrysler Financial and other commercial lenders of tens of millions of dollars so he could support a high-flying lifestyle.

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