CLEVELAND - The man charged with "flipping" 235 houses in Cuyahoga County, by filing forged deeds to the properties, appeared in Cleveland Housing Court on Monday.
Blaine Murphy, 43, was arraigned last week on charges of illegally "flipping" 235 houses in Cuyahoga County. Prosecutors said Murphy, of Naples, Florida, forged the deeds as an individual named Bryce Peters, III. The indictment includes properties located in 14 other Ohio counties.
Bond in that case was set at $1.5 million.
On Monday, though Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka tacked on an additional $500,000 bond related to contempt of court charges on housing code violations involving many of the 186 Cleveland properties Murphy's alleged to have flipped.
Pianka has fined Murphy $9.5 million for his failure to appear. Murphy was extradited last week.
Murphy and his company were indicted on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (RICO), possessing criminal tools, money laundering, and tampering with records. Murphy is also indicted on charges of acting as an officer of an unlicensed foreign corporation, and operating an unlicensed foreign corporation. The indictment seeks forfeiture of the 79 properties currently owned by Murphy's company.
This is the first time a "house flipper" has been charged for using fictitious identifications to forge deeds and other documents according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.