A Former Olympian Is Living In Her Car Outside Of Her Former Home. She Says A Woman She Let Into Her Life Stole Her Identity.
“I’ve lost everything I worked so hard for," Brown said shortly after she says her identity was stolen.
May 21, 2021 at 4:13 pm
Olympic gold medalist Cindy Brown, who has been battling an identity theft case for more than a decade, revealed that she has been homeless since November as a result of the alleged crime committed against her.
The 56-year-old, now living in her car after being evicted from her California home, said deputies came with false paperwork and removed her from the Orange County residence in the Villa Park neighborhood, KTLA5 reported.
Brown first talked about her legal battle in a 2009 interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel. She said the ordeal can be traced back to 2004 when she met a woman named Kela Holmes, who introduced herself as a personal manager with relationships that could benefit former players.
“[Holmes] said that she was just out of the Army and I later learned that she was living in her car and I wanted to help her,” Brown told the publication.
The two women started living together in the Villa Park home, a property Brown purchased in 1991. But the retired athlete started to face troubles with her financial assets while Holmes served as her business manager.
The Villa Park home particularly took a hit, losing more than $600,000 in equity. Brown then filed an identity theft complaint against Holmes, claiming that the business manager was involved in a sophisticated elaborate scam. However, police ignored the issue, according to the former basketball standout.
“They took my money and skimmed the equity and took off,” Brown told The Orange County Register in 2009. “I’ve lost everything I worked so hard for.”
Attorney James Imperiale said a man named Craig Diamond obtained a fake loan document on Brown’s home for $380,000 in 2005. Diamond then allegedly went to a bank with a lost loan affidavit that included Brown’s signature, claiming he had lost the loan.
"Here's a one page letter that says 'I lost the loan', signed by Mrs. Brown. And the bank paid him," Imperiale said.
The attorney suspects that someone at the bank was involved in the scheme.
"No normal bank would do that," he said. "That was when Mrs. Brown initially got ripped off."
The loan was then sold to the Bank of New York Mellon, who said it's not responsible for any of the alleged complaints. Brown then lost her battle in court because her attorney abandoned the case after failing to produce the fraudulent documents used to obtain the loan.
The Department of Business Oversight of California eventually acknowledged that the loans were fake. Still, the bank’s attorneys forced the eviction after moving the case from local to federal court.
Brown is now scheduled to appear in court at the end of the month as she continues the fight to retain her home.
The former California State University Long Beach star represented the U.S. Women’s Team in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and won a gold medal. She went on to the WNBA in 1998 and starred for the Detroit Shock, averaging 11 points per game.
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