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Economy and Business

House flipper faces a $250,000 deadline next week
Cleveland Housing court and Blaine Murphy make a deal

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

A Florida man has been fined up to half a million dollars  for code violations on properties he owns on Cleveland’s East Side. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the latest in the saga of Bryce Peters.

SCHULTZE: Housing court and Bryce Peters

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First of all, there is no Bryce Peters. But there is a Blaine Murphy.  He’s in his 40s, lives in a McMansion neighborhood in Florida and has a pilot’s license. And according to court records, he was the principal officer in Bryce Peters Financial at the time it was gobbling up and flipping as many as 180 dilapidated properties in Cuyahoga County—most of which stand in ruins if they’re still standing at all.

Murphy is facing actions in multiple courts: Cleveland’s housing court among them. And after he pleaded no contest last week to housing code violations on 15 properties,  housing court judge Raymond Pianka ordered him to pay the city $250,000 by the end of next week and another $250,000 if he doesn’t fix up his properties or tear them down.

Cleveland Councilman Jay Westbrook says Murphy can make good. “He does have it. He’s not destitute by any means. He may be after this settlement, but there’s every reason to believe he’s capable of paying these penalties.”

Murphy’s lawyer told the Plain Dealer that Murphy already has put $175,000 toward cleaning up the nuisances and plans to comply with the court order.

The FBI has been investigating Murphy and he’s was indicted in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on charges of using fictitious names in hundreds of housing deals over six years. He’s pleaded not guilty.


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