FL man pleads guilty in OH house-flipping scheme

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Florida man who authorities say was involved in a major Cleveland-area house-flipping scheme has pleaded guilty to 11 charges and will have to pay $1 million in restitution.

Prosecutors said 44-year-old Blaine Murphy was involved in flipping 235 houses by filing forged deeds — a scheme that ravaged neighborhoods by causing a decline in property values.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/ZgWrs9 ) reports that Murphy pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of telecommunications fraud and 10 counts of tampering with records.

But his attorney says Murphy, formerly of Naples, pleaded guilty to the charges because he used a pseudonym to sign deeds to 10 homes — not because he was involved in illegal house-flipping.

Racketeering charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement. Murphy will be sentenced May 8.


Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com

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