Investor agrees to guilty plea in philanthropist fraud case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The president of a western Michigan investment firm has agreed to plead guilty to stealing roughly $16 million from prominent philanthropist Elsa Prince-Broekhuizen.

In a plea agreement filed Friday, 68-year-old Robert Haveman admitted causing $16.2 million in losses to Prince-Broekhuizen's trust. Haveman agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and money laundering, charges that carry up to 30 years in prison.

A sentence will be determined after an arraignment hearing and plea change are scheduled with the court.

Officials say Haveman devised a scheme to defraud Prince-Broekhuizen. She's the widow of industrialist Edgar Prince, as well as the mother of Republican Party activists Betsy DeVos and Erik Prince, who founded security firm Blackwater Worldwide.

The money laundering charge stems from Haveman's purchase of vacant land on Lake Michigan.