KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The last time FOX 4 Problem Solvers saw Miles Thomas, he didn’t want anything to do with us. In fact, he pulled his T-shirt over his head when we tried to film him.
FOX 4 wanted to talk to Thomas about the homes he’s been renting and selling in Kansas City which, according to multiple lawsuits and Jackson County property records, he doesn’t own.
The real homeowners have even called police, hoping to have Thomas arrested. But police say it’s a civil matter.
Thomas is facing felony charges after, prosecutors say, he messed with the wrong person — an associate judge of the 16th Circuit Court.
Witnesses say Thomas’ troubles began after he put eviction notices on the doors of two tenants, including Deborah and Vernie Burns. The Burns said they quit paying rent to Thomas once they discovered he didn’t even own the home.
“How are you going to evict someone from a property you don’t own?” asked Mr. Burns, who was so suspicious of the eviction notice that he showed it to Judge Janette Rodecap, who had supposedly signed it. Burns was told the document was a fake and the judge’s signature was a forgery.
Although Judge Rodecap wouldn’t talk to FOX 4 Problem Solvers about the case, she did talk to police. This time, police paid attention.
“That’s when police came by asking all kinds of questions,” said Mrs. Burns.
Thomas was charged with two felony counts of forgery for eviction notices delivered to the Burns home and another home on College Avenue that he claims to own, but actually doesn’t, according to court records.
So how does Thomas rent homes he doesn’t own? He just takes them, according to court records. Often the homes are vacant and the owners live out-of-state or even out of the country.
That wasn’t the case, however, with Willie Varner’s home. Varner was shocked when he paid his property taxes and discovered he was no longer the owner of the home on Paseo Avenue where he has lived for 30 years.
“I looked at the tax lady and I said ‘well who is this?’ She said ‘well that is the owner.’ I said ‘well that’s not right,'” said Varner who works for a gas company and is a minister.
Jackson County property records show Varner supposedly deeded his house to Miles Thomas’ company, M&M Investments, more than a year ago.
But as soon as Varner saw the paperwork, he knew it was fake.
“It wasn’t my handwriting,” said Varner as he showed the papers to a reporter. “I misspelled my own name.”
Varner wants Thomas prosecuted for theft. He’s filed a complaint with Missouri’s attorney general, who is now investigating.
“To be a black man in this community and to try and take property from other people is wrong,” said Varner, who like Thomas, is also black. “It’s really wrong. He needs to get stopped before somebody hurts him.”
What does Miles Thomas have to say? His attorney said Thomas denies all charges against him and is looking forward to his day in court. The forgery trial is scheduled for December.
It won’t be the first time Thomas has faced criminal charges. In 2006, he was convicted of real estate fraud and identity theft.