Disabled Florida veteran loses $100K in phony home sale

Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 04:07:37-05

It was the house Lenny Lamm thought he was buying. The perfect place for his wife and four sons.

“My kids were so excited when things were going to happen. They loved the house. They loved the property. It was everything we wanted. And it’s just gone.”

Lamm was injured during a hard landing while serving in the Navy.

“I went from 0 to 180 miles an hour like that.”

And after years of waiting, he finally got a 100 percent disability check for almost $300,000.

He splurged on some ATVs for the kids and a new truck for him. Then found a house for sale.

The owner, who also claimed to be a veteran, gave him a tour and they made a deal.

Lamm handed over two cashiers checks totaling a $100,000 down payment. 

He was told attorney’s were working on a contract. But when he went back to the house, he found it was already sold to someone else. And the previous owner was gone.

“I just felt I put my trust too much in a brother.”

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office is after the home’s former owner, Joseph Burke. There was talk he may have gone to the Cayman Islands.

Lamm, who suffers from serious back pain and PTSD, doesn’t expect to ever see that money again, but he does want justice.

“I learned my lesson over this and as soon as I get my credit right, I am going to try and get into a nice home with some acreage and finally have the life I wanted to retiring.”

Experts said make sure to have a signed contract before ever handing over so much money. And make sure to do research on the property before buying directly from the owner.

Anyone with information on Burke should call the sheriff’s office tip line at 1-800-706-2488.