Tampa Sinkhole Scammers Glenn & Kathryn Jasen Found Guilty OF Wire Fraud
Tampa Sinkhole Scammers Glenn Jasen and Kathryn 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 Tampa Sinkhole Scammers Glenn Jasen and Kathryn Jasen and turned the case over to federal prosecutors, who in July indicted Tampa Sinkhole Scammers Glenn & Kathryn Jasen with wire fraud. Wire fraud has a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
Yesterday, US Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced that a federal jury found the Tampa Sinkhole Scammers guilty of wire fraud. They each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The sentencing hearings are scheduled for January 11, 2016.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, in 2009, the Jasens discovered a sinkhole beneath their home in Hernando County and made a claim to Citizens Property Insurance. Citizens offered the Jasens either a check to compensate for their losses or mitigation of the sinkhole. Rather than having Citizens repair the developing sinkhole, the Jasens instead chose to receive a check for $153,745.37. But they kept the money and did not repair the sinkhole. The Jasens then made cosmetic repairs to the house and listed it for sale in 2013, but kept the sinkhole a secret from prospective buyers. In fact, on a required Florida real estate disclosure form, the Jasens denied any knowledge of a prior sinkhole or sinkhole claim. The home was ultimately sold to a family with five children. In March 2015, the family heard what sounded like a car crash in the earth beneath their house. They soon discovered a crack running across the floor of the house, and immediately had to evacuate.
According to Shannon Behnken, from WFLA in Tampa who broke the story last year, “Attorneys for the couple had a different story for the jury. They say their real estate agent, Clara Ward, filled out the paper work with the wrong answers and mislead them into thinking the correct answers were there when they signed the form. They said the agent, who was having financial difficulties, even used a computer program to manipulate the form.”