Couple Accused of Lying about Sinkhole…

Florida sinkerFlorida Couple Accused of Allegedly Lying about Sinkhole to Homebuyer by Susanna Kim via Good Morning America – A couple in Florida is accused of lying about a sinkhole on their property to a homebuyer after cashing an insurance check without fixing it.

Glenn Jasen, 64, and his wife Kathryn, 63, of Spring Hill, Tennessee, were arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and appeared in federal district court in Tampa yesterday for their bond hearing. The couple, who own an air conditioning installation business, are accused of wire fraud, which is a federal felony, according to an indictment filed this week. They face a maximum of 20 years in prison each if convicted, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III.

After the Jasens detected a sinkhole on their property, they made a claim to their insurer, the indictment states. But instead of repairing the sinkhole, they deposited the unspecified insurance check into a bank account, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The couple allegedly failed to disclose the sinkhole in real estate documents and later sold the home to another family, according to the indictment.

Victor Martinez, a lawyer for the Jasens, told ABC News that omissions or errors in home sale disclosures are typically prosecuted civilly through lawsuits. “This case is brought by federal indictment through wire fraud because money was transferred in the sale,” Martinez told ABC News. “To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this kind of case has been brought federally. We’ll file motions suggesting this maybe isn’t the best way to deal with that.”

The indictment says the Jasens received $64,900 for the sale of the home, which authorities say was a wire fraud scheme that took place between February 2014 and March 2014. The Jasens allegedly sold the home “while falsely and fraudulently representing to the family buying the home that there was no sinkhole and no prior existing sinkhole claim,” the indictment said.

The couple was released yesterday after pledging their property to secure a bail bond, according to documents filed with the court. They did not enter a plea at the hearing. “The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is committed to investigating financial crimes that personally impact the citizens of the State of Florida. We will continue to work with the prosecutorial team to bring these criminals to justice,” said special agent Rick Ramirez of Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center in a statement.

Kelly Magbee, who lived in the home after the Jasens sold it, told WFLA last month her family was forced to move out after it cracked down the middle of their living room. “We couldn’t stay in the house,” Magbee told the station. “We couldn’t even keep the animals in the house.” Magbee could not be reached for comment by ABC News.

Couple Accused of Lying about Sinkhole.


Kapahulu road work fire raises concerns…

Kapahulu road work fire raises concerns with other city projects

khon gas fire kapahulu-avenueBrent Remadna – KHON2 Honolulu Hawaii. A fire that burned for hours and left two workers injured has lead the city to take a closer look at how they check for utilities. In February re-surfacing work began on Kapahulu Avenue. The project was supposed to take a little more than a year, but after crews struck a gas line, which resulted in a blazing fire, work has been halted.

“This was a freak accident where two lines from the two utilities crossed and so to get over the one the gas line went up and over,” said Robert Kroning, director of the Dept. of Design and Construction. The city does have plans to show where utilities are and even marks them on the road, but they said the plans are old and sometimes not accurate.

“It should have been annotated on the plans and somehow that got missed,” said Kroning.”That’s why we are going to make sure we go through more thoroughly.” Since the fire the city says that they are now taking a closer look at the Kapahulu roadwork and other projects as well.

“There are crews that are now concerned about other roads in downtown,” said Kroning. “So we are working to do this analysis for all the roads we have concerns where this may happen.” Now instead of just going off old plans the city is taking a closer look.

“We are going to get ground penetrating radar to help find the locations to find utilities a little better and not just go off the plans,” said Kroning. As far as when roadwork will continue, that is still up in the air.

“Exact timeline I can’t give you because we don’t know what we are going to run into,” said Kroning. “So as we go through the process of searching for the lines that are shallow and maybe have to lower some that we run into and that will determine how much longer it will be.”

Kapahulu road work fire raises concerns.


Sinkhole swallows pickup truck in Palolo Valley…

palolo sinkholeSinkhole swallows pickup truck while crews respond to water main break in Palolo Valley.

By Ramsay Wharton – HawaiiNewsNow Honolulu, Hawaii. BWS- Board of Water Supply crews are responding to a 16-inch water main break and sinkhole located on 10th Avenue and Hinahina Street. The water main break, which was reported Thursday at around 6:05 a.m., ripped up the sidewalk and buckled the road near the sinkhole. Neighbors were urged by police to move their vehicles, but a Ford pickup truck was located right over the gushing main break, and in a matter of minutes, the truck collapsed into the roadway, uprooting the adjacent sidewalk. Honolulu police said they tried to get the truck out of the way before the road collapsed, but were unsuccessful.

As of 8:30 a.m., the truck was still submerged in the sinkhole. However, no injuries have been reported. The truck owner’s wife, Sala Costa, said she believes the truck and its collapse ultimately saved more water from causing damage to the couple’s home on the corner of 10th Avenue and Hinahina Street. She said the sound of rushing waters woke her up. They couldn’t escape their front yard gate because of the water coming into their yard.

Costa said she managed to climb over the fence with the help of police and firefighters. Water has not entered the home, but their garage is flooded and damaged some of their property and a shed in the back, she said. A similar water main break occurred about eight months ago and caused about $100,000 of damage to their home. They also just finished relaying new grass in their front yard, Costa added.

“Our whole yard was flooded and in fact, they just got through putting in new grass in the yard a week ago,” she said. BWS crews managed to shut off the water at 8:20 a.m. Approximately 23 customers have been impacted by the water main break. All lanes on 10th Avenue, between Hinahina Street and Hardesty Street, will remain closed. Repairs are expected to continue throughout the day and into the evening, BWS said.

Sinkhole swallows pickup truck in Palolo Valley – 2015 Hawaii News Now.

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