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Courts and Crime

Florida man pleads guilty to flipping Cuyahoga County houses
Blaine Murphy admits to illegally “flipping” 235 houses in Cuyahoga County by filing forged deeds 

Kabir Bhatia

A Florida man has pleaded guilty to eleven charges related to the illegal “flipping” of houses in Cuyahoga County.

As part of a plea deal, 44-year-old Blaine Murphy will pay $1-million in restitution. That's about the same amount of taxes owed on 96 properties that fell into foreclosure for a total tax delinquency amount of $1,032,000.

Murphy's five-year scheme ended in 2010 after he had flipped 235 houses. He would acquire often-dilapidated homes, file deeds without bringing the properties up to code or paying taxes, and then sell the houses in bulk lots.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty says Murphy was the key participant in a nationwide scam from 2005 through 2010 that included the purchase and sale of real estate in many states with the most activity occurring in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas.

Today, Murphy plead guilty to one count of Telecommunications Fraud, a felony of the second degree, and ten counts of Tampering with Records, all felonies of the third degree

His sentencing is scheduled for May 8th.

Related WKSU Stories

House flipper contributed to poor housing market
Friday, February 3, 2012

Cleveland house flipper indicted
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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