Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway charged with bank fraud

Charge is a direct result of 7 Action News report

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is now facing a federal bank fraud charge.

The charge was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Friday.

It follows a 7 Action News Investigation that found Hathaway transferred the ownership of her Windemere, Florida home into her step-daughter's name while she was also trying to qualify for a short sale on a home in Grosse Pointe. The mortgage on the Grosse Pointe home was held by ING Direct.

After the short sale, the Florida home was transferred back into Hathaway's name.

The document laying out the charge against Hathaway says she "executed a scheme to defraud ING and to obtain money and funds owned by and under the control of ING by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses and representations."

Hathaway is set to retire on Monday.  Her attorney, Steve Fishman, told 7 Action News earlier this month that Hathaway's retirement has been in the works since December.

7 Action News has reached out to Fishman for comment on the charge. We have not yet heard back from him.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. issued the following statement on the charge against Hathaway:

When any elected official is charged with serious misconduct, the public's faith in its government institutions can suffer. The federal criminal fraud charges levied against Justice Hathaway and her departure from the Supreme Court bring to a close an unhappy, uncharacteristic chapter in the life of this Court. The last eight months have cast an unfortunate shadow over the Court. Going forward, my five fellow justices and I, and this Court as an institution, will do what we have always strived to do: to uphold the highest ethical standards, render the best public service in promoting the rule of law for everyone, and do our utmost to deserve the trust the public has placed in us. 

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