MIchigan Supreme Court Justice Hathaway Expected To Plead Guilty On Federal Charges

HathawayWe previously discussed the scandal surrounding Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway who was accused of an array of misconduct leading to her resignation from the Court. Many of us wondered why she had not been hit with a criminal indictment. Now she has. Only a few days before leaving the court, Hathaway is now officially indicted of fraud.

In 2008, Hathaway launched a successful Democratic campaign to unseat conservative Chief Justice of the Court, Cliff Taylor. Her heavily negative campaign accused Taylor of failing asleep on the bench and declared “If you see justice in the name, he really belongs in the hall of shame.”

She is accused of committing fraud to avoid a $600,000 mortgage debt. She is also accused for engineered a very shady short sale on a $1.5 million lakefront home.

The charges follow an investigation into the dealings of herself and her husband, attorney Michael Kingsley. Hathaway is accused of claiming to a bank in 2010 she was retiring — and would lose her $164,610 annual salary. In this way, Hathaway allegedly claims financial hardship to dodge the debt to ING Direct on her home. However, hardship is hard to make out with massive assets so investigators say that she and her husband transferred two homes to Kingsley’s children and Hathaway gave a third stepchild $195,000 cash to buy another home. Yes, you guessed it, she then moved into the home. Their prior home was transferred to Kingsley’s daughter on a short sale and then got it back in an exchange for $10.

There is a federal effort to seize the home as part of a civil forfeiture process. This is particularly ironic since Hathaway served as a Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor, 1987-1993, including service as Chief of the Drug Forfeiture Division.

On Friday, the Justice Department filed a criminal “information,” a prelude to a guilty plea in federal court. She was scheduled to resign today.

The short sale is particularly interesting. The 2011 deal with the bank erased the couple’s $600,000 debt in Michigan and then, five months later, the couple regained ownership of the home for $10. Hathaway is accused of making false statements to ING Direct and concealing wealth to portray herself as in financial duress.

She could face 30 years on the charges but will likely get a light sentence in a plea. It would be highly controversial however for her not to spend some time in jail. She sat on cases of criminals sent away for long sentences for a fraction of the over half million dollars involved in her alleged fraud.

Hathaway, 58, will retire today and presumably appear at some point in court to admit criminal acts at a later date. She was only four years into her eight year term.

Source: Detroit News

21 thoughts on “MIchigan Supreme Court Justice Hathaway Expected To Plead Guilty On Federal Charges

  1. “The short sale is particularly interesting. The 2011 deal with the bank erased the couple’s $600,000 debt in Michigan and then, five months later, the couple regained ownership of the home for $10. Hathaway is accused of making false statements to ING Direct and concealing wealth to portray herself as in financial duress.”

    While it is incontrovertible to me that Hathaway should resign and face charges of fraud, I think we should also understand that what she and her husband did is no doubt analogous to many, many transactions occurring daily by people of prominence and power. The fact that she was a Justice sitting in a high court o doubt influenced Ing’s decision to erase the $600,000 debt. Banks simply are not that forgiving with their average customer.

  2. Ing was pretty stupid or in on the fraud if they believed that a sitting supreme court justice was “retiring”, without verifying it. I smell a sweetheart deal gone bad.

  3. This is a highly covetative seat…. The republicans will do anything to regain power. Not that she is not guilty of stupidity.

    There is a competing case out of western Michigan where election fraud is provable…. But to get the Secretary of State, Governor or Attorney General to do something about it is impossible….they are all republicans…. Finally a judge in the court if claims called a grand jury type of hearing…. Coincidentally they are aligned with the democrats…

    Hmmmm….. I wonder if partisans politics is taking place in a non partisan office…..

  4. Excuse me, are they opening up her cases to see if she dealt with litigants in a fraudulent way as well? The State gave her power over people’s lives. If she was not to be trusted in her own life, how could she then be trusted in others’? If her cases are not being reopened, why not? What do we really have in our judicial branch of government, besides a collection of human beings who have more power than any ordinary people have?

    In Fairfax, Virginia in 1982, a practicing domestic relations lawyer was conducting an extramarital affair with some woman (possibly a secretary in his office) while his wife was dying of breast cancer. He wanted to transfer all marital assets OUT of her name before she died and so he did so, having documents notarized by notaries who obviously either owed him favors or “on whom” he had something. Wife died, he didn’t need her will to be probated because her estate consisted of a couple of pairs of used shoes or the like, and he went on his merry way. Shortly thereafter, three banks and some other business entities sued him for fraud and I don’t even remember the causes of action; but somehow, he had cheated banks and so forth out of money at the time of his wife’s death because of provisions in the mortgages. Too complicated for me to remember. Anyway, all three lawsuits came into the Circuit Court where he practiced, and then all three lawsuits came under one particular judge who was one of his drinking buddies, and then all three lawsuits settled and NONE of the facts came out and strangely, the only things actually physically remaining in the files after settlement were the complaints (which did not say much) and the dismissals (which cited settlement agreements). All documents in between, although still recorded on the docket sheets, were gone from the files in all three cases. Bizarre, huh? This same lawyer came before this same judge in my case; II had been told to hire him because my ex-husband was a vexatious litigator and this guy’s office was half block from the courthouse, so less in attorneys’ fees for him to answer motions every Friday. He came up in front of this judge on a “motion to dismiss [my sole] custody order for fraud on the court” and he acted like it was a valid motion and he let the judge go ahead and hold a new custody trial WITHOUT NOTICE and with a finding of “no fraud.” He did not inform me, and at that point in time I did not know, that the motion should have been dismissed because of Rule 1.1 in Virginia. And for eight (8) other reasons. He failed to make the motion to strike the “motion” and we just went right through a whole faked up fraudulent “recustody-trial” because the judge wanted to do that after the prior judge had been SUED for not deciding it in accordance with my ex-husband’s wishes. Looooong after the fact I began to do research int he files to try to learn WHY things had happened that technically and legally could not happen in the case.

    When I pulled the files of these three fraud cases, I realized that my judge had a secret relationship with my lawyer. My lawyer was in no position to take away from my judge “jurisdiction” that he wanted to exercise, ultra vires. “My” lawyer was serving two masters. One was obviously more powerful.

    Over 33 years, I have learned that judges’ frauds are well covered with their relationships with the lawyers practicing before them. That is our system. It is fraudulent. It is out of control. And it is irremediable. This, folks, is what we have: A cheat for a judge whose decisions have already, in the last four years, had unknown and possibly disastrous effects on hundreds of lives. She is the exception to the rule only in that she was dumb enough to get caught doing something that REALLY is not allowed; taking money from rich [people][corporations].

  5. Oh, and here’s an additional little piece of information about all this. At the time that I was doing research in the files of the Fairfax County Circuit Court, and discovered the fraud cases that made my lawyer amenable to giving up my rights without informing me of the legalities, a lawyer whom I had hired AFTER that lawyer messed up said to me with great anger in his voice, “You have been pulling files and reading them in the courthouse, day after day after day! YOU NEED TO STOP DOING THAT! Don’t you understand that five minutes after you appear in that clerk’s office asking for a file the judge has a note on his desk saying, ‘She’s here again asking for this file or that file’? Don’t you GET IT? THEY work for HIM, not for YOU! He knows what you’re doing! If you ever want to see your kid again you better [expletive deleted] stop that [expletive deleted]!”

  6. Re: anon 10:52am, so how is it partisan that she defrauded a bank? Are you suggesting the Republicans made her lie and commit fraud, “the Repulicans will do anything to regain power.”

  7. No anon… I’m suggesting that if she didn’t park her vehicle where she was supposed to….. They’d had her towed….

  8. It doesn’t matter what party she is affiliated with. Both parties have filled positions of power with lying, thieving, cheating frauds for the whole time that there were parties; this is not suddenly a new thing being done by one of the parties. Ordinarily, for judges, both parties collaborate to hide and promote frauds. It’s one of the truly bipartisan activities.

    New York, Westchester County, Judge Andrew O’Rourke. His ascent to the throne was made possible by Democrat DiBlasi and all sorts of illegal orders were entered to hide every imaginable sort of “white collar” crime in the process. When some woman (I have forgotten her name) started to uncover the corrupt Democrat/Republican joint efforts to make sure judges of both parties protected each others’ misconduct in ALL the wealthy counties around Manhattan, they ganged up on her and destroyed her, legally, mentally and physically. When the police conducted the investigation they were obligated by law to conduct before O’Rourke could become a Supreme Court Judge in New York, someone they interviewed actually told them that she was under a court order made by DiBlasi that prevented her from answering their questions, so they left that alone, and approved him! OK, so there goes the First Amendment, the entire process for weeding out miscreants from the Bench, and every other logical way for us to control what happens in our justice system. And that’s one tiny little example of how far the liars and frauds to go protect each other in the judicial system, which itself is only a tiny part of the problem. Still, any time ANY of the corrupt judges gets caught, for ANY reason, that’s a good thing.

  9. Still, any time ANY of the corrupt judges gets caught, for ANY reason, that’s a good thing. -Malisha

    A very good thing.

  10. raff

    i’m betting they say a fine plus loss of her license is punishment enough.
    the fine being about 1/4 of what she defrauded.

    but she’ll never spend a night hungry or homeless.
    wonder if the people she adjudicated(?) can say that.

  11. I’d say that 60 days of house arrest, following by 90 days of probation would be sufficiently harsh. After all, this was only her first bank fraud. If a jail term were to be imposed, this would have a chilling effect on prospective candidates for the bench.

  12. Malisha,

    I think I may have said this before, but I think anyone holding an office of public trust (judges, LEOs, etc.) should automatically be subject to the maximum penalty when found guilty of a crime.

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