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Agents Arrested for Covering Up Damage

Listing agent, buyer’s agent, and sellers are all arrested.

(Mountain Lakes, NJ, August 2, 2018) — In an unusual use of criminal charges in a dispute over property disclosures, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested two agents and the sellers of a home, accusing them of fraud in the sale of a house with sinkhole property damage.

The arrests stem from the $275,000 sale of a house in Florida’s Pasco County, an area where sinkholes are common.

The buyers thought the home was insurable when they closed. After they moved in, however, they learned that their house sat atop a sinkhole and could not be insured.

In late 2017, the FDLE announced the arrests of listing agent Karen Sherwin and buyer’s agent Shawn Poole. The sellers, a married couple, were also arrested.

State officials are pursuing charges of an organized scheme to defraud against the agents and sellers. The buyers also filed civil suits against the agents and sellers.

More on disclosure issues, commission competition, and discounter models appears in the August issue of Real Estate Broker’s Insider. Click below to learn more about the Insider, the only news source exclusively for residential real estate brokers, owners, and managers.

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