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Feds seek prison; matriarch of prominent family defrauded

Posted: 2:41 AM, Oct 04, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-04 02:41:59-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Federal prosecutors are asking for a “significant” prison sentence for a man who fleeced the matriarch of the Prince family, Elsa Prince-Broekuizen, a prominent philanthropist in western Michigan.

Robert Haveman is returning to federal court in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, several months after pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering. The loss is pegged at $16 million.

Robert Haveman handled money for Elsa Prince-Broekhuizen. She’s the widow of businessman Edgar Prince and mother of Republican activist Betsy DeVos and Blackwater Worldwide founder Erik Prince.

Sentencing guidelines put Haveman’s punishment somewhere between six and seven years, although those guidelines aren’t mandatory on Judge Robert Holmes Bell.

Haveman so far has repaid $5 million. Defense attorney Chip Chamberlain says many losses were based on false hopes that some investments would cover his mistakes.