High-ranking judge headed to prison over short sale

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A Michigan judge who erased $664,000 in mortgage debt in a short sale by concealing more than $1 million in assets will do prison time after pleading guilty to bank fraud.

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane M. Hathaway, 58, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison after admitting in January that she had engaged in a scheme to defraud ING Direct by concealing assets in order to qualify for a short sale of her Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., home.

“We have made mortgage fraud a priority in this district because of the harm this crime causes to our housing markets in the aggregate,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement. “Homeowners who play by the rules should know that those who don’t will be held accountable, no matter who they are.”

Source: justice.gov.