Forged documents allow prisoner to transfer Joyland property

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

You would think the deed to your property would be guarded and untouchable, but a county official says a convicted murderer has been stealing property by forging documents from inside prison.

Sedgwick County Clerk, Kelly Arnold, says there is little his office can do about it. 

"It's very difficult for us to catch this," Arnold said.

From prison, Anthony Kelley has been able to switch ownership of four different properties, including a vacant downtown bus terminal and the 
property where the Joyland theme park once sat. 

Using falsely notarized documents, those properties are now owned by a religious group called The Kingdom of Moorish America.

"We only caught this because he is filing and changing deeds on properties that have some notoriety in our community," Arnold said.

Kelly says the inmate likely created the deeds by cutting and pasting from other documents making it look legitimate. Once it lands on the desk of the Register of Deeds, by law, they must be filed immediately.

"That changes the legal ownership right there," Arnold said.

A quick search of The Kingdom of Moorish America reveals the religious group has been named in this same scam across the country for years. Why it's done is unknown.

Kelly is working with the Kansas Attorney General to change the laws. 

As it stands, property owners, that are now fraud victims, are responsible for cleaning up the mess. It could cost them thousands.

Arnold is urging every Sedgwick County property owner to sign up for a new electronic alert system. It was created to give you a warning if anyone tries to tamper with your property deed. 

https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/register-of-deeds/