Despite selling a property for more than $30,000, a metro veteran tells KFOR he never received a cent.
At 91 years young, Bud Johnson has quite a life story.
Much of his life was spent in the military, but he found success in real estate later in life.
“I was hatched right here in Oklahoma City,” said Bud. “Made more money after retirement than I ever did working.”
Bud owned a handful of properties over the years, but was looking to offload.
A property on the southeast side had fallen into disrepair, and Bud says squatters have taken up residence.
Hoping to sell the home as-is, Bud found a buyer in Sylvester Mason III, out of Tulsa, who agreed to buy the home for $36,000.
The two met at the Oklahoma County Courthouse, and Sylvester brought a notary to finalize the deal.
“He had the papers all ready, he had promissory note all ready,” said Bud. “He had his notary, he had everything.”
But Sylvester Mason III didn’t have the $36,000 needed to purchase the property. He opted instead to sign a note that promised payment in 90 days.
The deed changed hands last September, and Bud says he hasn’t heard from Sylvester since.
To avoid these situations, local attorney Mark Walraven advises anyone in real estate to call a pro prior to signing, and stick to mortgages as opposed to promissory notes.
That way, if the seller fails to make payments, it’s the bank who chases them down.
“The note says, I owe you money to the bank,” said Mark. “The mortgage says, if I don’t pay you that money, [the bank] gets my house. That’s why the mortgage is important.”
As for Bud’s predicament, who is Sylvester Mason III?
Through our research, we believe he lives in Tulsa. A felon following drug and gun charges in 2014 who has started a number of businesses since.
Looking through the documents in Bud’s property sale, we found they were notarized by someone named Kayla Woodside.
Turns out, Kayla is married to Sylvester. According to state officials, she isn’t even a notary. But we found she applied for and received a COVID PPP loan as a notary, for nearly $8,000 in 2021, according to online records.
Finding Sylvester has proven tough. We stopped by various Tulsa addresses, but neighbors said they hadn’t seen him in months.
Sylvester has been busy though.
According to property records, he sold Bud’s home to another woman earlier this year. She told our team she paid $55,000 for two Sylvester properties, and had no idea about Bud’s predicament.
Sylvester Mason III currently has a warrant out for his arrest in Tulsa County for a bogus check charge. In Your Corner attempted to speak with Sylvester in multiple ways, but never heard back.
Bud tells KFOR he’s looking to contest the property records at the Oklahoma County Courthouse.