State Police Tip Line: 1 (866) 326-7256

Jail Time for Former “Scranton-Area Realtor of the Year”

SCRANTON — People from California to Clarks Summit trusted Peter Lamandre to manage their rental properties in Lackawanna County.

Valerie Altuna of Long Island wanted the man who managed her rental homes in Lackawanna County for four years, to go to jail.

When court adjourned, Peter Lamandre was led away in handcuffs.

“Justice finally happened,” said Altuna.

From 2008 to 2012, six people with properties in Lackawanna County say they had a property management contract with Lamandre. He was supposed to collect rent and pay property owners 90 percent of that.

In court, the victims said they got little or no money.

“I’ve never received any rent from this man in about four years,” said Altuna. “I just always prayed it would get better, it would get better.”

Dickson City police raided Lamandre’s Better by Design real estate company on Business Route 6 in July 2013. He later turned himself in and was charged with several counts of theft by deception.

Lamandre’s lawyer asked the judge for probation, so he could work to pay his victim’s back.

But the judge called Lamandre’s practices, “outright embezzlement.”

“We want this guy in jail,” said Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Mike Goffer. “We want him off the streets of being a real estate agent.”

Lamandre’s sentence is 11 to 23 months in jail, and he owes six victims a total of $367,000 in restitution.

That’s a lot of money for a man who’s now in jail and about to lose his real estate license. And that’s why victims fear they’ll only get a fraction of what Lamandre owes them.

“Restitution is going to take so long, I’ll never see it,” said Brian Gray of South Abington Township, who is owed $45,000. “I’ll see dribs and drabs of money.”

“I was like, ‘what’s the point?’ I’m not going to get any money anyway,” added Valerie Altuna, who is owed $285,000. When asked if she was glad she went through with filing charges, she said, “Yes, I’m so glad.”

After his jail term Lamandre will be on probation for five years.   And the judge ordered he can’t sell real estate or manage property.

It’s a hard fall for the man who was the Scranton Area 2012 Realtor of the year.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32,373 other followers