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.

Akron General

The Holden Arboretum

Metro RTA


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
Courts and Crime


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

Will Ohio's marijuana initiative follow casinos' lead?
We just ask to have marijuana legalized and here comes some nimrod trying to rob us of our rights and make us buy it from some legalized new type DRUG DEALER th...

Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
Grandma of Chris Miller moved to Florida in a retirement community but I sure miss the Falls and the Blue Door, and the fine service and the true friendship of ...

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

A guide for gift-shopping for older Ohians
I'll never be to old for peanut brittle.

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

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