HUDSON, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pasco scammer may be hiding out in the Cayman Islands after he conned a man out of $100,000 in the sale of a home, according to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators said the victim was driving around Hick’s Road in Hudson when he saw a for sale sign on 53-year-old Joseph Burke’s property. When the victim called the listed realtor on the sign, he was told the home was under contract and pending sale, but he went ahead and knocked on the door and spoke with Burke.
Burke gave him a tour of the home and told him he was still accepting offers. After the tour, the victim made a $250,000 offer on the house, which Burke accepted.
Burke requested a $100,000 down payment and was given two checks in the amounts of $80,000 and $20,000. Detectives say this was the victim’s settlement money from a plane crash he was in while in the Navy. He did not have any receipts or a contract for the down payments.
The victim said he drove by Burke’s home in June and saw someone moving into the house. When he confronted the family, they said they closed on the house and asked him to leave their property.
He called the listed realtor once again, and she said the house had been purchased legally. She knew nothing about his down payment.
The victim said Burke stopped returning his phone calls and disappeared. Deputies believe he could be in the Cayman Islands.
They’re asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Crime Tips Line at 1-800-706-2488.
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