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Crime and Courts


Cuyahoga County judge sentences house flipper to two years in prison
Florida man used forged documents to sell hundreds of houses
Story by LYNDSEY SCHLEY


 
Naples, Fla., resident Blaine Murphy will serve two years for telecommunications fraud and tampering with records.
Courtesy of State of Florida
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A Florida man who used forged documents to sell hundreds of dilapidated houses across Ohio will spend the next two years in prison.
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Naples, Fla., resident Blaine Murphy pleaded guilty to 10 counts of tampering with records and one count of telecommunications fraud.

Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Greg Mussman says Murphy used pseudonyms to sign house deeds, making him difficult to track when the properties went to ruin.

Murphy’s actions have also hurt community property values, Mussman says. In some cases, it may be worth it to refurbish the properties.

“But, in most cases, the best case scenario that each neighbor can deal with is that these homes are demolished," Mussman said. "So the neighborhoods are becoming parking lots. They’re empty lots now and that’s the best these neighborhoods can hope for with these homes because they’re so dilapidated.”

Mussman says Murphy will also have to pay $1 million in restitution and $100,000 in fees and serve his five years of probation in Slavic Village, where he flipped some of the houses.

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