Disabled vet scammed out of $100,000 in sale of Pasco home

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A disabled Pasco veteran thought he was putting money down on a house, but ended up getting scammed out of $100,000.

Joseph Burke (Pasco County Sheriff’s Office)

For ten years, Leonard Lamm fought for disability from the VA. Earlier this year, he was finally awarded $254,000 and decided to buy a house for his family.

He found a house on Hicks Road in Pasco County that was listed for $300,000. He offered the homeowner, 53-year-old Joseph Burke $250,000.

Lamm said he trusted Burke who said he was also a disabled who had served in military just like him.

“The man showed me pictures of Antarctica. I was standing in the same place he was. I thought he was a brother, you know. You stand up, you’d take a hit for this man and for it to happen just like that, it digs deep.”

The two worked out a deal where Lamm would pay Burke $100,000 and finance the rest. Lamm put money down, and then things went downhill. It turns out, the house had already been sold to someone else.

“Me and my wife take a tour of the house and this gentleman comes up to us and says what are you doing on the property and I said well we just bought it and he said no you didn’t. I said yes we did we just gave this man $100,000 and we’re going under contract and he said well you need to talk to him, someone else owns it.”

Leonard Lamm speaks with News Channel 8.

Lamm called Burke, but he can’t get a hold of him and police can’t track him down. They believe he could be hiding out in the Cayman Islands.

If you know anything about Joseph Burke, please call the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

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