News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Meaden & Moore

Akron General

Cedar Point


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Crime and Courts


Cleveland house flipper indicted
Florida man flipped nearly 250 Cleveland-area homes with doctored paperwork
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA
and M.L. SCHULTZE


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
Blaine Murphy's scheme netted 235 properties in Cuyahoga County alone, and he still owns 79 of them. Judge Raymond Pianka froze those sales earlier this year while authorities searched for Murphy.
Courtesy of Cuyahoga County
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Bryce Peters Financial is the name prosecutors say Blaine Murphy used to flip homes in Ohio, and at least four other states.  Buying a property and selling it for a quick profit is not illegal, but Murphy is accused of doing it with forged deeds.  Now, as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, the Florida man faces up to 66 years in prison.
Cleveland house flipper indicted

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:06)


(Click image for larger view.)

When banks foreclose on properties, they often resell them in groups.  Investors like Blaine Murphy buy them up and try to sell them at a profit.  But Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason says Murphy took a few shortcuts, including doctored paperwork.

"In his quest to make a quick buck, Murphy ignored property code violations and payment of taxes.  He then sold the properties, in bulk, to individuals over the internet.  The forgeries hid the real identity of Murphy and made it difficult, if not impossible, to make contact with the individuals responsible for maintenance and for tax payments on these properties."

Mason says Blaine Murphy racked up over a million dollars in back taxes through his scheme. Last summer, while the FBI searched for Murphy, Cleveland’s housing court judge froze nearly 80 pending sales, some of which  were priced at as little as one-thousand dollars.  Murphy was cited for contempt 53 times by Judge Raymond Pianka, racking up $9.5 million in fines.

Since last year, housing prices in Northeast Ohio have fallen 2.4 percent. And they’re now cheaper than they were in 2000.Frank Ford of Cleveland’s Neighborhood Progress says that makes the region ripe for out-of-state flippers such as Blaine Murphy.  

“He’s really only one of about twenty similar investors who come in and descend upon our state like vultures to pick up these properties.  And what’s interesting is if you track the properties that went through his hands, many of them were transferred to other competitors or colleagues of his.  And I did talk to one of them who told me there’s even an annual Christmas party that they all go to in South Carolina.  This is gonna send a strong message to all these bad actors that we would really rather they stay out of Cleveland with this activity.”

In addition to the 235 properties in Cuyahoga County, Murphy is accused of flipping homes in Columbiana, Franklin and Warren counties, and in Texas, Missouri, Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

FBI agents tracked him to Naples, Florida last week, where he’s expected to fight extradition.  He's scheduled to be arraigned January 10th in Cleveland on charges of racketeering and money laundering.
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Akron's Chapel Hill Mall in foreclosure
Not a surprise. Between the shoplifting, gangs and violence that goes on up there it is no wonder that no one feels safe to shop at Chapel Hill. They have sca...

Ohio launches investigation into at least one Concept charter school
I worked at Noble Academy Cleveland as admin assistant and enrolment coordinator for 6 years, I know this is so valid and true and can provide staff names and p...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University