LANSING, Mich. -

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has charged two Metro Detroit men with running a phony mortgage modification business.

Jeffrey Baker, 45, of Detroit, and Leroy Yeargin, Jr., 44, of Southfield, were charged with defrauding at least 272 victims out of about $400,000.

"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."

Baker and Yeargin formed Wayne County Loan Modification in February of 2010.

The pair 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 refund 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.

The company ceased operations in October of 2010.

Schuette filed the following criminal charges against Jeffrey Baker and Leroy Yeargin, Jr.:

  • One count of Criminal Enterprises - Aquire/Maintain, 20-year felony
  • One count of Criminal Enterprises - Conspiracy, 20-year felony
  • Four counts of False Pretenses - $1,000 or more, but less than $20,000 - 5-year felony

Bond was set for $100,000 for Baker and $50,000 for Yeargin. They are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary exam July 15.

If you think you may have been victimized by Baker and Yeargin, you are encouraged to file a complaint with the attorney general's office at https://secure.ag.state.mi.us/complaints/consumer.aspx.