Attorney gets jail in mortgage fraud case

Posted at 6:38 PM, Dec 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 18:38:44-05

An Oakland County judge has sent a local attorney to jail for scamming hundreds of victims during the housing crisis.

Many people who attended the sentencing truly fell victim, at a time when their homes were all they had left.

For the next year 52-year-old Steven Ruza will have plenty of time to think about his dirty deals that cost hundreds their livelihood.

Earlier today in court, the attorney seemed humbled to some extent - even apologizing to some of his victims.

But it sounded like a halfhearted apology to some, including the judge who fired back and gave him a year in jail - plus five years probation.

The light sentence is so he can repay his victims sooner, at their request, or else get more than 20 years behind bars.

For more than four hours, we also heard powerful testimony from families who lost everything and their homes.

Ruza had promised to help the struggling homeowners with loan modifications, but instead lined his own pockets with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The lawyer from Orchard Lake preyed upon vulnerable victims for years, until the Michigan attorney general eventually busted him.

There will be a separate hearing soon to determine restitution payments.