A Florida man has been indicted in Cleveland for fraudulently selling 235 houses in Cuyahoga County, and properties in 14 other Ohio counties. Ideastream's Brian Bull reports:
Blaine Murphy - who also goes by Bryce Peters III, and Martin J. Franks -- is owner of the Bryce Peters Financial Corporation. He and his business stand accused of forgery, mail fraud, money laundering, record tampering, and telecommunication fraud, committed over a six year period. These acts helped Murphy engage in what's called "house flipping" - which Cuyahoga County prosecutors regard as unethical, illegal, and socially destructive.
Cleveland Councilman Anthony Brancatelli says the impact of fraudulent mortgages in his neighborhood is, quote -- just as sad as ever.
"When you start looking at boarding and demolishing substandard properties, you can see the impact both on our balance sheet as well as the devastation and loss of everybody out there's property values," says Brancatelli. "No question, we are all impacted by this. It's not just an urban issue, it's across the entire united states that we're starting to see property values drop because of these type of predatory and fraudulent activities that have occurred."
Murphy allegedly operated in Ohio, Texas, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. He was secretly indicted last week and his arraignment is scheduled for January 10th.
He's fighting extradition to Cuyahoga County from his Florida jail cell.