Hathaway admits she committed bank fraud in federal court

Hathaway admits she committed bank fraud in federal court

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(Credit: WJBK|myFOXDetroit.com) Diane Hathaway outside court in Ann Arbor (Credit: WJBK|myFOXDetroit.com) Diane Hathaway outside court in Ann Arbor

By Charlie Langton
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway entered the federal courthouse innocently enough, but left a convicted felon.  She took a plea to bank fraud.

Here's the deal.  She will spend up to 18 months in a federal prison.  She will pay up to $90,000 in restitution, and she will pay a fine of approximately $30,000.  After that, she'll spend three to five years on supervised probation, and all the other charges against her will be dismissed.

"This is a crime that spanned almost two years, and so for a very serious, well thought out crime like that, I think it's important that the public see that people at the highest levels of government are held accountable," said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.

Hathaway stated in open court that she devised a scheme to defraud the ING Bank and wrote a phoney hardship letter, hiding her true assets and manipulating property sales in order to get rid of a $600,000 debt on her Grosse Pointe Park home.

"It's important for people to know that now we're down to the actual loss as calculated by ING Bank, which, of course, is who we ought to listen to," said attorney Steve Fishman.  "They're saying it's between $40,000 and $90,000.  They haven't said anything more than that, and Judge O'Meara will decide."

"In this case an individual in a prominent position of public trust made extremely poor choices that have resulted in criminal activity," said FBI Special Agent Robert Foley.

Sentencing will be May 28.

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