‘Ashamed’ ex-Michigan Justice Hathaway gets prison in fraud scheme | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

30 May

Hathaway participated in a two-year scheme to defraud ING bank.

“Is it really a unique case?” Lemisch asked. “Bank fraud is committed every day.”

Lemisch also argued that unlike many others who were victims of the housing collapse, Hathaway was not someone who could not afford to pay the mortgage. She chose not to pay, he said.

“One cannot help but feel sorry for Diane Hathaway because she has fallen from such a pantheon of justice,” Lemisch said.

Related: Prosecutors: Ex-Justice Diane Hathaway should go to prison for bank fraud

PDF: Hathaway sentencing memo filed by federal prosecutors

Hathaway, who also held a real estate license, retired Jan. 21 amid the scandal involving the sale of her home.

Hathaway was charged and pleaded guilty in January with one count of bank fraud after investigators said she moved ownership of property in Florida to relatives so she could qualify for the short sale. Short sales are when a bank allows a sale for a home for less than is owed by the mortgage holder, typically when property values fall.

Hathaway’s short sale in Michigan erased nearly $600,000 in mortgage debt on the $1.5-million Grosse Pointe Park home on Lakeview Court, which eventually sold for $850,000. The debt-free Windermere, Fla., home then went back into Hathaway’s name.

Federal and state officials applauded Hathaway’s sentence.

“Homeowners who play by the rules should know that those who don’t will be held accountable, no matter who they are,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement.

 

via ‘Ashamed’ ex-Michigan Justice Hathaway gets prison in fraud scheme | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

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