Beyond Brevard: ‘Sinkhole Sellers’ Guilty Of Wire Fraud
By U.S. Dept. of Justice - Middle Florida District // October 9, 2015
denied knowledge of sinkhole
ABOVE VIDEO: A federal jury found a Spring Hill couple guilty of wire fraud, after selling their house to a family with five children and failing to disclose the gigantic sinkhole underneath. (Video courtesy of WFLA NBC CHANNEL 8)
TAMPA, FLORIDA – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury today found Spring Hill residents Glenn and Kathryn Jasen 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. They were indicted on July 15, 2015.
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.
This case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas N. Palermo.