Florida housing company must fix up or demolish flipped Cleveland homes; pay restitution

CLEVELAND - A  Naples, Florida man accused of illegally flipping houses in Cuyahoga County pleaded guilty to housing code violations in Cleveland Housing Court Monday.  

As part of a plea deal, Blaine Murphy, also known as Bryce Peters, 43, admitted Bryce Peters Financial Corp. failed to comply with city orders to repair or demolish 15 "defective" properties.

Judge Ray Pianka sentenced Murphy to pay $250,000 in restitution to the city of Cleveland and five years of community controls.

The conditions of the community controls include a $250,000 fine that will be reduced to $25,000, if Murphy provides a full list of properties he has owned or currently owns, repairs or demolishes properties he currently owns, and does not buy or sell any property without court approval.

City prosecutors dropped 12 cases as part of the plea deal.

Pianka said the remaining fines for housing code violations on the 15 properties could have added up to $2.9 million. However, Ward 16 Cleveland Councilman Jay Westbrook felt the sentence was "just" and would deter others from flipping homes without fixing them up.

Murphy also faces felony charges in Cuyahoga County. He is accused of illegally flipping homes.

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