White-Collar Crime

Former state supreme court justice takes plea in bank fraud case

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A now-retired Michigan supreme court justice facing a bank fraud case took a plea in federal court in Ann Arbor on Tuesday.

Diane Hathaway, 58, could get anything from probation to 18 months of prison time when she is sentenced on the felony bank fraud charge to which she pleaded guilty, according to Deadline Detroit and the Detroit Free Press.

Her lawyer, Steve Fishman, said Hathaway had tried to save herself approximately $40,000 at the closing table concerning a short sale of her home in Grosse Pointe Park in Michigan by concealing assets. However, she would have qualified for the short sale regardless, he told reporters.

“She feels terrible. She let down a lot of people,” Fishman said of his client. Hathaway did not comment directly, the Associated Press reports.

The government has agreed to drop a civil case filed against Hathaway and will not seek to seize a waterfront home she owns debt-free in Florida with her husband, who is also an attorney, according to the articles.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan was present at today’s court hearing and is expected to hold a press conference in Detroit this afternoon.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Michigan Justice Announces Retirement After Accusation of ‘Blatant and Brazen’ Misconduct”

Detroit Free Press: “Schuette questions Diane Hathaway’s fitness as a lawyer”

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