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A Detroit businessman embezzles over $10 million dollars, then disappears.

Philip Breen

Suspect:

Gender: Male
DOB: Approx. 1962
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 160 lbs.
Hair: Dark brown

CASE DETAILS

Philip and Kathleen Breen were married in Detroit, Michigan in the spring of 1988. They were both successful business executives, and together, they enjoyed the good life. They had expensive, grownup toys paid for by Philip’s investments in the stock market. For Kathleen, the marriage was a dream come true:

“There were a lot of things that were really great about him. I think it was his sense of humor was one thing that I thought was really great. And we were crazy about each other. I mean I… really loved this person and I believed that he really loved me. And I believed that I could trust him.”

Philip and Kathleen Breen: a happier time

Philip was the president of a highly successful Detroit mortgage company. His position gave him the authority to purchase mortgages for the company.

A year after his marriage to Kathleen, Breen purchased the Orlando Juice baseball team for $700,000. The team was one of eight franchises in the Senior Professional Baseball Association, a new league built around retired ball players. It was a risky enterprise, but by the end of the year Breen’s investment had ballooned to more than $2 million dollars.

Kathleen thought the franchise put extra pressure on her husband:

“It seemed like it was something that he really wanted to do. It was important to him. But in a lot of ways I didn’t like it because… he was just at that point running himself into the ground. And it didn’t make sense to me.”

Living the good life

Kathleen became concerned about her husband’s mental state. There was a recognizable change in his behavior. He started spending more money and began drinking heavily.

Back in Detroit, the mortgage company where Philip was employed made an unsettling discovery. They’d been servicing loans that Breen had purchased from companies that did not exist. The company suspected Philip Breen of embezzlement.

Philip and Kathleen returned from a Florida vacation to their home in Detroit on Friday, January 5 th , 1990. Kathleen immediately noticed that something wasn’t right:

“He looked very upset. I mean he had a very funny expression on his face and it frightened me to see him freaked out like that… He had records piled all over the floor, papers were strewn all over… That evening, he revealed to me that he had somehow been the victim of people selling phony mortgages.”

Kathleen and Philip

By Monday morning, Philip convinced Kathleen that he could straighten everything out. He left for work at around eight o’clock. But he never arrived at his office.

That night, Kathleen discovered that Philip had taken some of his clothes and luggage:

“I was really upset. The idea that he would’ve actually gone just was incomprehensible to me. I… couldn’t believe it.”

The FBI was brought in to investigate. They found that in less than two years, Breen had created close to 100 fake loans, netting himself more than $10 million dollars.

He had used the money to support his extravagant lifestyle. The FBI also discovered that Breen had been convicted of fraud and embezzlement in Florida twelve years earlier. Kathleen Breen was shocked to learn of her husband’s double life:

“There was just this whole person that I didn’t even know existed.”

On the advice of her attorney, Kathleen Breen filed for divorce. But it was too late. The courts held her legally responsible for Philip’s debts. She was forced to sell nearly everything she and Philip owned, including their cars, boats, Florida condo, and Detroit home.

For Kathleen Breen, the dream was not just over, it had been shattered:

“I felt like I was married to a monster from outer space. And it almost just sickens me…”

Phillip Breen has never been located.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season four with Robert Stack and in season three with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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16 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Look in bowling green Ky. Under mike

    Reply

  2. Sylvia Merry

    They found a body here off the coast of maine back in 1990 and checked with Canada and missing persons here in maine they still haven’t been able to identify him but his description sounds like Philip Breen might want to check it out

    Reply

  3. Anonymous

    Phil was born in 1946, we grew up together on Detroit’s northeast side since I went in the Navy I lost contact with the family and who knows if he is alive but after all these years he had to have fled somewhere

    Reply

  4. Anonymous

    Seriously, try Phillip Green

    Reply

  5. Chanita

    He Ran Off With The Investors Money? Oh Hell No! That Punk Ran Off With The Damn Money ! I Want Unsolved Mysteries To Know That Philip Needs To Get Life Without Parole And He Needs To Pay All Of That Money Back! Authorities Please Get This Slime Ball Off The Streets Before He Does It Again!

    Reply

  6. Anonymous

    If he was born in 1962 he would be closer to 55 not 70

    Reply

  7. Anonymous

    what happend to kathleen?

    Reply

  8. Anonymous

    I’m wondering if he is in Sydney, Australia . Found a Philip Breen there, photo on LinkedIn.

    Reply

  9. kat

    no age progression has been done- he would be 70 thos december 16 2016. He has not turned himself on nor been found. It is not known if he is dead or alivr. he is wanted for embezzlement – not known of wjat if any additional crimes he may have committed. at this point only God knows

    Reply

  10. Whitney B

    The article is unclear ..Is he suspected of murder also? Or did he just flee the country to hopefully escape consquiences of his actions? I can only assume murder was involved some where along the way. You get several people realizing they been scammed one can only assume somebody died somewhere.

    Reply

  11. Kathy

    A 1962 year of birth would make him 54.

    Reply

  12. Anonymous

    has Phillip Breen been found?

    Reply

  13. Ray

    Do you have any photos of what he would look like today or what his age would be in 2016?

    Reply

    • unsolved

      Hi Ray – there does not appear to be an age regression available, but Philip would be around 70 years old in 2016.

      Reply

  14. Lisa

    Do you have any other information? Where is he from?

    Reply