Ex-Austin city employee may have used his office to take ownership of an elderly woman’s home

Former employee paid property taxes— all in cash

(iStock)
(iStock)

A former employee of the Austin City Code Department faces criminal charges for an alleged attempt to fraudulently take ownership of a home by forging an elderly woman’s signature on a deed to transfer it to himself shortly before she died.

The accused, Alan Deshon Guyton, is facing a charge of first-degree felony theft, according to the Austin-American Statesman.

Austin police started investigating the case in November, when the city auditor’s office contacted law enforcement after coming across a seemingly forged deed filed with Travis County for a property in South Austin. The property was owned by Janet “Lynn” Sissney until she died on February 8, 2021, according to the affidavit. Guyton was put on administrative leave in April before ultimately leaving his job with the city’s code enforcement department.

During the investigation, Sissney’s nephew told police that he is the rightful heir to the estate and alleged that Guyton intentionally dismissed multiple code violations on the property with the expectation that he would assume ownership with a forged signature when Sissney died. Law enforcement officials interviewed a neighbor and friend of Sissney’s who both said her intention was to leave the house to her nephew. The neighbor told authorities she met Guyton in August and he told her he bought the property, and even received a package by mistake addressed to Guyton at Sissney’s property.

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The signatures on Sissney’s drivers license and social security card do not match the signature on the deed, the affidavit said. The document also revealed that Guyton started making tax payments on the property in August 2021, all in cash.

Police also interviewed the notary who notarized the deed, and she confirmed that the deed did not have Sissney’s signature on it when it was notarized.

Attempts to reach Guyton and city officials by the Statesman were unsuccessful.

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ABoR’s Cord Shiflet (Austin Board of Realtors, iStock)
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[Austin-American Statesman] — Maddy Sperling