Michigan Attorney General Sentencing Disbarred Attorney Steven Ruza to Up to 15 Years in Prison
LANSING — An Oakland County lawyer disbarred last year has been arrested again for engaging in a mortgage assistance fraud scheme, only a year later. Attorney General Bill Schuette alleges Steven Ruza of Shelby Township committed identity theft by lying about where money had gone; Ruza had promised dozens of people they could help save their homes from foreclosure but failed to follow through with that promise.
Early Life and Education
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Steve is the owner and president of Senior Housing Group, an organization dedicated to saving government-subsidized affordable apartments for seniors. To date, their organization has helped save over 2,100 senior apartment units nationwide. Furthermore, Steve is actively involved with Jewish organizations across the US as well as advocating for strong US-Israel relations through meeting with numerous members of congress and lobbyists.
In 2017, the Attorney General’s Corporate Oversight Division received information that Ruza was hiding assets. Their investigation discovered that Ruza obtained a Michigan driver’s license under someone else’s identity using their birth certificate as well as falsifying information on car title applications submitted with the state.
Achievement and Honors
Steven Ruza was sentenced Wednesday by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette for mortgage assistance fraud committed in 2015. Ruza received between 2.5 to 15 years imprisonment on charges including intentional passing of false title and falsifying driver’s license certification – in addition to being designated as a second habitual offender.
In June, David Ash (BMath ’87) established the inaugural Germain-Erdos award in honor of Sophie Germain and Paul Erdos – two pioneering mathematical researchers. This award supports future undergraduate research on Combinatorics and Optimization. The name itself pays homage to two groundbreaking mathematical researchers in Sophie Germain and Paul Erdos’ names.
Ruza and his company were charged in 2015 with multiple felonies for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients facing foreclosure and seeking assistance. Ruza and his firm made promises to save the homes, yet failed to do anything tangible for victims according to prosecutors. He was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay $610,000 as restitution – $250,000 of this went directly back to victims while another $360,000 is owed back to Michigan state government.
In 2017, the Attorney General’s Corporate Oversight Division received information that Ruza had hidden significant funds. A subsequent investigation discovered he obtained a Michigan driver’s license using someone else’s identity (by using their birth certificate to apply), then falsifying details on a car title application filed with the state.
Steven Ruza was already facing multiple felonies and serving a one-year jail sentence with restitution after helping people facing foreclosure, when he found himself embroiled in another case of fraud. Michigan Attorney General’s Corporate Oversight Division obtained information in 2017 indicating Ruza was concealing significant amounts of money. Investigations determined that Steven had obtained a driver’s license using someone else’s identity, as well as falsified information on a car title application with the state, according to a press release issued by the department. Since 2017 Steven has made over 9 trades of PRAA stock since exercising 23792 units of 8X8 stock worth $65,666 on 23 April 2020; additionally he reportedly makes an estimated annual income of over $2.101,280 from his position as Executive Vice President – Global Operations Officer of PRA Inc.