A sentence against a home-stealing real estate agent in Tampa has raised some eyebrows over its lenience.
Real estate broker Michael Bogsted was sentenced to 60 months of probation and ordered to repay $177,000 after pleading guilty to fraud, involving the theft of homes through phony deeds, WFLA reported.
Some agents and title professionals question the absence of prison time in the sentence.
Prosecutors revealed that Bogsted had created fraudulent deeds to transfer ownership or sell properties to unsuspecting buyers. One victim, John Jenkins, who had to fight to reclaim his home, told the local news channel that he thinks Bogsted “got off easy.”
While public records show that Bogsted’s license was suspended on Jan. 6, new home listings with him as the sole real estate agent have surfaced this month.
One property was listed for sale on January 16, just 10 days after his license suspension.
The listing encourages deals, raising questions about Bogsted’s continued real estate activities.
Despite the suspension, records indicate that Bogsted is associated with Peer Title in Tampa, listed as the closing company for the new listings.
When contacted for comment, a woman from Peer Title responded with “no comment.”
Agents will break bad from time to time.
A Raleigh-based landlord and agent embroiled in multiple investigations concerning alleged tenant mistreatment — including charging former tenants $18,000 after they moved out — has permanently surrendered her real estate broker’s license.
Lisa Eustathiou is facing accusations of predatory charges and withholding security deposits from tenants and prospective tenants, respectively, WRAL 5 and WCNC Charlotte reported.
The $18,000 charge against NC State students who had rented one of her units included a four-figure charge for a wooden table used for various purposes, including beer pong.
North Carolina law prohibits landlords from fining tenants beyond what is agreed upon in the lease.
“If she’s offended by something, she feels that she can assess a fine and define what that fine is, even though it’s not anywhere in the lease, it’s not anywhere under law, but just comes up with it,” attorney Michael Avery told 11 Eyewitness News.
— Ted Glanzer