Investor pleads guilty in philanthropist fraud case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — An investment adviser accused of stealing $16 million from a prominent philanthropist in western Michigan has pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering.

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.

In court Wednesday, Haveman says he also caused millions in investment losses because of poor decisions. The Grand Rapids Press ( ) reports that he told the judge he was given "a lot of latitude" until an investment committee began to review any transactions.

The scheme goes back to 1999. Haveman will be sentenced on Aug. 9 in Grand Rapids federal court.