Steven Barry Ruza, 52, Orchard Lake, Michigan, and his company, Home Legal Group, Inc., have been charged with 30 felony counts for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Michigan victims that were facing mortgage foreclosures.
Ruza and Home Legal Group allegedly promised victims that they could obtain mortgage modifications and save their homes from foreclosure but then did nothing, or very little, to obtain mortgage modifications for the victims. The victims never received a modification through Ruza and Home Legal Group and most lost their homes to foreclosure.
The following charges were filed on May 22, 2015 against Ruza and Home Legal Group PLLC in Oakland County’s 48th District Court:
- Twenty-six counts of obtaining money through false pretenses (making false statements to consumers), a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine;
- Two counts of attempted false pretenses over $20,000 but less than $50,000, a felony punishable by five years’ imprisonment;
- One count of attempted false pretenses of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, punishable by up to five years in prison, and;
- One count of Racketeering, a felony punishable by 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.
The Racketeering count includes an additional 114 victims who were allegedly defrauded.
Ruza and his company were arraigned before Magistrate Nelson Klein of the 48th District Court, West Bloomfield, on Friday, May 22. Bond was set at $1 million cash/surety for Ruza and $500,000 cash/surety for Home Legal Group. Ruza’s next court appearances include a conference on June 4, 2015 and the preliminary examination set for June 11, 2015. Both appearance will be before Judge Marc Barron.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the charges.
The charges were filed following an Attorney General investigation.
“Scam artists who prey on Michigan families are deplorable, and especially so in this case where the families were already having trouble making ends meet,” said Schuette. “We will continue to aggressively dismantle these predatory operations and prosecute the criminals behind these schemes.”