Jeffrey Baker, 45, Detroit, Michigan, and Leroy Yeargin, Jr., 44, Southfield, Michigan, were charged with operating a fraudulent mortgage modification business defrauding approximately 272 victims out of $400,000.
Baker and Yeargin together formed Wayne County Loan Modification in February, 2010. Baker and Yeargin allegedly took fees up front for what was represented to be mortgage modification applications. They would typically charge one month’s mortgage payment as their fee. Allegedly, Baker and Yeargin would guarantee a mortgage modification with a reduced interest rate and a refund of half the fee if unsuccessful.
Approximately 272 victims allegedly paid an average of $1,500 for modification applications. None of the applications were processed by Baker and Yeargin. In all, Baker and Yeargin allegedly defrauded consumers of more than $400,000. The company ceased operations in October 2010.
The following criminal charges have been filed against Jeffrey Baker and Leroy Yeargin, Jr. in Wayne’s 3rd Circuit Court on Monday July 1, 2013:
-One Count of Criminal enterprises – Acquire/Maintain, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of $100,000.00;
-One Count of Criminal Enterprises- Conspiracy, a felony punishable by up to 20 Years in prison and/or $100,000.00; and,
-Four Counts of False Pretenses- $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by up to 5 Years and/or a fine of $10,000.00, or 3 times the value of the money or property involved, whichever is greater.
Bond for Baker set at $100,000 and bond for Yeargin is set at $50,000. Baker and Yeargin are next scheduled to appear in court for their Preliminary Examination on July 15, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the charges.
Since taking office, Attorney General Schuette has charged and/or convicted 33 individuals and companies involved in mortgage relief scams.
Citizens who believe they may have been victims of Baker and Yeargin’s Wayne County Loan Modification scam are encouraged to file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office at www.michigan.gov/ag by clicking “File a Complaint.”
Schuette reminds Michigan homeowners that citizens do not need to pay to speak with their lender or servicer or to obtain outside assistance with mortgage issues. Free local assistance with foreclosure issues can be found by calling the Michigan State Housing Development Authority at (866) 946-7432.
“I encourage homeowners with mortgage concerns to contact free, state-certified housing counselors,” said Schuette. “You do not have to pay for assistance or to speak with your lender.”
“It is disgusting to take advantage of the families hit hardest by the mortgage foreclosure crisis based on pure greed,” said Schuette. “Every homeowner should have confidence in the legitimacy of the businesses they turn to when they need help. We will continue to work hard to secure justice for the victims affected by this scam.”