Glenn Jasen Was Busted For Lying About Sink Hole On Real Estate Disclosure Forms. Now His Attorney Wants To Argue This Is A Civil Matter Not a Criminal Matter
Glenn Jasen received a hefty insurance payout for a sinkhole on his Spring Hill home outside of Tampa, Florida. Instead of fixing the sink hole, he pocketed the money and sold the house. Problem is, he lied on real estate disclosure forms, checking “no” on questions about sinkhole damage. Lying about sink holes on real estate disclosure forms is illegal.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated Jasen and turned the case over to federal prosecutors, who then charged him with wire fraud. Wire fraud has a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
Last month, Jasen signed a plea deal with the feds to plead guilty. His hearing is set for next Tuesday.
However, after signing a the plea deal, Jasen got a second opinion from well-known Criminal Defense Attorney Victor Martinez who expressed dismay that federal prosecutors were pursuing Jasen for wire fraud.
Martinez told Shannon Behnken of WFLA, “The real estate disclosure forms include no warning that lying could result in prison time…It isn’t a mortgage loan application. It isn’t an IRS return. There’s no notice that you’re signing under any kind of criminal penalty, and in fact, there are statements in the disclosure form that says the buyer can’t rely as a warranty as to any of the disclosures.”
Martinez says federal judges shouldn’t be bothered with real estate cases that take away from more serious crimes. And if prosecutors are going to go after these types of cases, consumers should be warned of the consequences of lying on disclosure forms.
Martinez says home sellers lie all of the time. When caught, they usually face a civil lawsuit, not 20 years in prison. Florida law enforcement has made it known they are working on several cases major cases throughout Florida.