- Associated Press - Thursday, October 26, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A man who earlier was jailed in a Michigan mortgage assistance fraud case has been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison after authorities say he tried to get out of paying restitution.

Fifty-four-year-old Steven Barry Ruza of Shelby Township learned his punishment Wednesday in Ingham County Circuit Court. Attorney General Bill Schuette says Ruza committed identity theft in an effort to hide assets. Ruza pleaded guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors in the latest case.

Ruza owes more than $348,000 in restitution from his earlier case. He had pleaded guilty to conducting a criminal enterprise and was sentenced to a year in jail in 2015.

Schuette says Ruza promised people they could obtain mortgage modifications and save their homes from foreclosure, but didn’t follow through.

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