Russian spies' New Jersey home heading for sale

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MONTCLAIR, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey home that has been vacant since the FBI arrested a family of undercover Russian spies living there is heading for sale.

Vladimir and Lydia Guryev lived in the home in Montclair under the names Richard and Cynthia Murphy before they were arrested in 2010 along with eight other spies accused of leading double lives, complete with false passports, secret code words, fake names, invisible ink and encrypted radio.

The parents of two young daughters had pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign country and were deported to Russia in exchange for four people convicted of betraying Moscow to the West being let out of prison there.

Their story partially inspired the FX drama "The Americans," about two undercover Russian spies that live in the U.S. with two young children.

Lydia Guryev worked as an accountant in New York and was accused of using her financial contacts to pass information to Moscow. reports ( ) that investor Jeremy MacDonald is planning to renovate and then try to sell the home. He says he hopes it will sell for about $700,000 after doing about $200,000 in renovations, including repairing its yellow, chipped paint and dealing with overgrown bushes.

"I didn't even know it used to be a Russian spy house," MacDonald said. "The realtor I'm currently working with showed me all the news articles about its history."

He said that he doesn't expect the Russian spy connection to help or hurt the sale.

Neighbors said that they are happy that the house will be fixed up after sitting empty for so long. One called it an "eyesore."

"Montclair is excited that this house will be renovated soon and lived in again, bringing a new family to the neighborhood," said Brian Wilde, Montclair's head of code enforcement.


Information from: NJ Advance Media.

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