Records show man connected to web of forged deeds still busy flipping homes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The man at the center of a 41 Action News investigation isn't letting a little negative publicity slow him down.

A series of February reports connected Willis L. King, 33, to a web of forged deeds. However, Jackson County Mo., property records indicate he is still busy flipping homes.

The 41 Action News investigation discovered more than a dozen questionable deeds. Some of the supposed signatures were people who had been dead for years.

41 Action News caught King working inside a home in the 6100 block of Forest Avenue. A deed filed with Jackson County said the former property owner, Phyllis Rippley, had signed the home over to King.

However, Rippley said she had never heard of King or signed a deed that would transfer the home to anyone. King hid his face with a sweatshirt and drove away from the home when 41 Action News tried to question him.

Since the investigation aired in February, King has transferred six of the forged deeds to new owners.

Robert Thatch notarized four of those deeds. He confirmed to 41 Action News that the same man who appeared in the television report came in to transfer the properties and showed identification as Willis King.

The most recent transaction was on July 8 when King filed a deed to a home in the 9400 block of E. 68th Terrace. The document transferred the home to Lawrence Davis Jr.

Surveillance video from the Jackson County Courthouse obtained by 41 Action News appeared to show King walking into the lobby shortly before the document was date-stamped in the Recorder of Deeds office.

King took possession of the home last summer. The deed filed with Jackson County shows the purported signatures of Janet and Greg Silvestro. However, Greg Silvestro told 41 Action News their signatures were forged.

Silvestro, who lives in Nevada and purchased the home as an investment property, is almost certain King called him last year to inquire about the home's availability. After getting the call from 41 Action News, Silvestro said he contacted law enforcement to report the forgery.

41 Action News also reached the new owner, Davis, by phone. He would not say how much he paid King for the property. But after he purchased the home, Davis said a friend mentioned that King had appeared prominently in the 41 Action News investigation.

"I called him to ask about it and he told me the entire thing was just a misunderstanding," Davis said.

The findings of the 41 Action News report prompted a criminal investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, which is still ongoing. Stay with for any further developments to the story.

Ryan Kath can be reached at You can also follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Facebook.

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