Federal prosecutors have filed a fraud charge against Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway, just a few days before she leaves the state's highest court in a scandal involving the sale of a Detroit-area home and suspicious steps taken to conceal property in Florida.
The charge was filed Friday as a criminal "information," which means it was negotiated and that a guilty plea is expected in federal court. Defense attorney Steve Fishman declined to comment Saturday.
Hathaway is resigning Monday, months after a series of questionable real estate transactions first were revealed by a Detroit TV station.
Hathaway and her husband, Michael Kingsley, deeded a Florida home to a relative while trying to negotiate a short sale on a house they couldn't afford in Grosse Pointe Park.
The sale went through and erased any remaining debt they had with the bank, $600,000. The debt-free Windermere, Fla., home then went back in their names.
The bank fraud charge says Hathaway made false statements to ING Direct, transferred property to others and failed to disclose available cash -- all in an effort to fool the bank into believing she had a financial hardship. Kingsley has not been charged.
Hathaway has refused to make any lengthy public comments. She told WXYZ-TV last spring that the property shuffles were a private matter.
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Michigan Supreme Court Justice Charged With Fraud