by Brian Mahany
A report today from the Detroit News indicates that Justice Department officials have charged Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway with bank fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit claims that Justice Hathaway and her husband hid assets in order to get ING to accept a short sale on their home.
According to press reports, two other homes owned by the couple were recently transferred to their kids. The complaint also accuses them of money laundering, although no criminal charges have been yet been filed.
While tens of thousands of homeowners across the country are suffering and struggling to make ends meet, Hathaway apparently feels that the laws don’t apply to her.
Predictably, the comments from readers to the Detroit News article were not very sympathetic. “Isn’t she the tax cheating judge?”, said one while another said, “Seriously, how can a crook like this be in judgment of any person?” The latter comment pretty much sums up our reaction.
According to RealtyTrac, 1 out of every 300 homeowners in Detroit are in foreclosure (that number is slightly less statewide but remember, many folks have already lost their homes). Who reviews these foreclosures? The Michigan Supreme Court.
One might expect Justice Hathaway to apologize and step down or at least take a leave of absence while prosecutors sort through the mess. Not in Detroit. According to news reports, she isn’t going to go quietly and with dignity. As the FBI is apparently now starting a criminal probe, Justice Hathaway’s chambers made this statement to the media, “Justice Hathaway is not resigning. Period.”
The fraud and lender liability lawyers at Mahany & Ertl represent victims of fraudulent foreclosure and banking practices. We also represent whistleblowers from inside the lending and finance industry. (We do not, however, represent sitting Supreme Court justices.) If you have been defrauded by a mortgage company or have inside information about such fraud, give us a call. All inquiries are kept in strict confidence and protected by the attorney – client privilege.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Detroit, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Portland, Maine and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Services available in many jurisdictions.