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Prison for man who defrauded philanthropist

gavel and law book
SalFalko via Flickr | CC BY 3.0

A man who defrauded the matriarch of a prominent Michigan family out of $16 million has been sentenced to 3 ½ years in federal prison.

Robert Haveman's sentence Tuesday is significantly below the guidelines of six to seven years, although the guidelines aren't mandatory.

Prosecutors were seeking a "significant" period behind bars. Haveman for years 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.

Haveman pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering and 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.

Chamberlain says Haveman sometimes was "duped" into opportunities and lost some of his own money.

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