States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|March 4, 2010||
EMPLOYEE OF MERIDEN REAL ESTATE COMPANY WHO VIOLATED FEDERAL LEAD DISCLOSURE LAWS IS SENTENCED
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that SANDRA SATTLER, 56, of Middletown, was sentenced today by United States Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven to six months of probation for failing to provide required lead-based paint disclosures to tenants. SATTLER also was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $2500. SATTLER pleaded guilty to offense on December 11, 2009.
According to court documents and statements made in court, SATTLER was employed as a Supervisor of all Leasing Agents for Carabetta Management Company, a Meriden-based company that owns and manages thousands of residential housing units throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, including two Meriden apartment complexes, Parkside Apartments and Oakland Gardens Apartments.
The federal Lead Hazard Reduction Act and the Lead Disclosure Rule requires property owners, property managers and real estate agents leasing or selling housing built before 1978 to provide tenants and buyers with a pamphlet that contains information concerning the dangers of lead paint and suggests measures that may be taken to reduce the risk of lead poisoning. Property managers also are required to include with lease agreements a statement warning tenants of the hazards of lead-based paint, a statement disclosing the presence of any known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards, a list of any records or reports available pertaining to lead and/or lead-based paint hazards, and a written statement by the tenant acknowledging receipt of the federally-approved lead hazard information pamphlet and the landlord’s disclosure of known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards. The property manager then must obtain signed acknowledgments from tenants that the disclosures were made.
SATTLER has admitted that, in 2003, she and the leasing agents she supervised knowingly failed to provide several tenants at the Parkside and Oakland Gardens complexes with the required lead-based paint warnings and related disclosures. In addition, SATTLER and the leasing agents provided to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development false lead paint disclosure forms on which tenants’ signatures were forged.
On February 25, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that Carabetta Management Company has agreed to pay a $276,000 penalty for violating the federal lead-based paint disclosure requirements.
“Property owners and managers have an important responsibility to inform tenants of known and potential lead paint in their rental properties,” stated Michael E. Hubbard, Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Environmental Protection Agency in New England. “EPA expects full compliance with the lead disclosure laws and will seek to prosecute those who feign compliance by forging tenants’ signatures on lead paint notification forms.”
This matter was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Geoffrey M. Stone and Special Assistance United States Attorney Dianne G. Chabot.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
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