Former justice Diane Hathaway will face bank fraud charge next week

Jan 23, 2013

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway will face a federal bank fraud charge in a United States District Court in Ann Arbor next Tuesday.

The charge was filed as criminal “information,” meaning Hathaway has negotiated with prosecutors and is likely to plead guilty, the Detroit News reports.

"When an information is filed, it would suggest a person has waived an indictment before the grand jury and is proceeding with a plea," said former federal prosecutor Alan Gershel, a professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills.

Federal prosecutors Friday filed a charge accusing Hathaway of concealing assets and transferring homes to stepchildren in a scheme to fool mortgage lender ING Direct into believing she and her husband, attorney Michael Kingsley, had a financial hardship.

The bank approved the couple for a short sale, allowing Hathaway and Kingsley to unload a $1.5 million Grosse Pointe Park home for about $600,000 less than they owed.

Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning told the News that as a first time offender, Hathaway faces sentencing guidelines that call for 27 to 33 months in prison.

The maximum sentence for bank fraud is 30 years.

She officially resigned from the court Monday, and Governor Snyder is actively searching for her replacement.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom