Unpaid bills mount for top Chrysler executive

Unpaid bills mount for top Chrysler executive: "One of the best-known auto industry executives in the world has fallen on hard times.

Jim Press, who briefly ran Toyota Motor Corp.'s U.S. operations and spent 37 years with the Japanese automaker before joining Chrysler as one of its three top executives in 2007, is facing claims of more than $1.35 million for unpaid federal taxes and a personal loan.

The 62-year-old auto executive, who told the New York Times last year he wore a single string on one wrist as a reminder that material wealth is not the most important thing, may be one of the highest profile victims of Detroit's collapse.

Press blamed the elimination of bonuses at Chrysler for his failure to pay back the personal loan.

Chrysler went into a U.S. government-financed bankruptcy earlier this year in a deal that gave management control to Italy's Fiat SpA.

The distressed state of the Detroit area housing market, which has been hit hard by the U.S. housing bust and the auto industry's troubles, may be adding to his problems.

Press, known to be an avid swimmer, and his wife, Suwichada Busamrong Press, purchased a multimillion-dollar, 6,900-square-foot luxury home in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham in June 2008, taking out a $2.2 million mortgage with ING Bank, records show."


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