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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Former WNBA Player, Now Homeless, Seeks Justice After SWAT Raided Her Home Back in 2020

Based on new evidence, Cindy Brown, an Olympic Gold Medalist and retired WNBA player, asks the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to investigate alleged excessive use of force in a 2020 eviction that she alleges is a product of state record tampering and computer fraud.

Cindy Brown

Nationwide — Cindy Brown, a victim of identity theft and mortgage fraud who was left living in her car after a fully armed Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) SWAT team raided her home in November 2020, has filed charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). She is seeking civil and criminal probes into alleged fraud, violations of state and federal wire fraud, and computer tampering statutes against the Bank of New York Mellon (BONYM) and The Ryan Firm, APC of Irvine, California.

Brown discovered new evidence in court filings by The Ryan Firm, APC in the matter of Brown vs. the Bank of New York Mellon, California Court of Appeal’s case No. G06145, of court record tampering and an unlawful entry into the California e-filing system without payment of required California court filing fees. Brown alleges that the actions amounted to theft of government services, conspiracy to commit theft, and obstruction of Brown’s constitutional rights to notice and due process.

Brown, a retired WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist who is appearing in pro per, alleges that BONYM and its lawyers have tried since 2008 to gain title and possession of her home by engaging in various acts of fraud, deception, and exploitation of her status as a self-represented litigant, and exploitation of her perceived celebrity status. In September 2020, Brown filed another action against BONYM in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange Case No. 30-2020- 01159870-CU-OR-WJ. She obtained a valid court order blocking any eviction effort by BONYM.

Rather than comply with the valid state court temporary restraining order (TRO), BONYM and its lawyers, The Ryan Firm APC, removed the case to federal court, and hid the removal from Brown and the state court judge. They also hid the TRO and eviction efforts from the federal judge. The federal judge later wrote, “[The Ryan Firm and] BONYM waited for the TRO to expire and then pursued an eviction without the Court’s knowledge, perhaps with the hope that Brown, who is proceeding pro se, was unlikely to know to renew the injunction request upon removal.” The judge further added, “Instead of being forthright and recognizing this Court’s jurisdiction over the matter, BONYM hid the relevant documents, and engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations with [Orange County] county counsel to bypass this Court’s authority.”

Once BONYM and The Ryan Firm removed the case to federal court, only the United States Marshall’s Office, under the authority of the federal judge, could conduct a lawful eviction of Brown. The Ryan Firm, however, secretly engaged the OCSD to conduct the SWAT team raid on her home and her subsequent eviction. Brown recently testified before the FTC about the SWAT raid and other acts of unfair business practices by the bank and its lawyers. The FTC has jurisdiction to investigate and take action to protect consumers from unfair, and deceptive business practices, including violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act as alleged by Brown.

“I was in disbelief when the SWAT team came with guns drawn to my door and locked me out with just the clothes on my back, while they were inside taking selfie pictures of my Olympic and WNBA memorabilia,” said Brown. “I thought there must be some mistake. I had no idea that the bank had been lying to the court and hiding documents from me. Once inside, The Ryan Firm invaded my privacy, hacked into my computers, and took pictures of my financial records and other private matters. They then posted the private pictures in court records to try to shame me and to cover up those thousands of dollars worth of property that is missing.”

Brown dismissed her state court actions to allow a federal probe to go forward, but added, “The court records in the California Court of Appeal’s case No. G061451 presented compelling evidence that someone tampered with public records in order to conceal the intended Orange County Sheriff’s Department SWAT raid on my home. I believe that this was done in order to cover up the intended excessive use of force that was used during the eviction.”

“I also found evidence that some persons submitted forged and false documents under the Ryan Firm’s caption seeking and obtaining a false court order. Orange County Superior Court has a long and recent history of bribery and record tampering,” said Brown in a statement.

Brown is requesting that the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office investigate the Orange County Superior Court and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for their involvement in the SWAT raid on her home.

Brown is just one of many homeowners who have been victims of mortgage fraud by BONYM and of abusive debt collection practices deployed by The Ryan Firm. The Ryan Firm, APC has been accused of helping the bank to illegally evict homeowners. The FTC is now being asked to investigate the firm for referral for possible criminal charges and other deceptive business practices.

“No one should have to go through what I went through,” said Brown. “In California, everyone is supposed to pay their court filing fees, otherwise it is stealing from the people of the state of California. I hope that by speaking out, I can help make sure that other people don’t have to go through the same thing.”

“These people ruined my life,” Brown said. “Before dismissing my case, I had asked the Court of Appeals to refer the matter for criminal prosecution because I want to see whoever is responsible held accountable, and that includes ending [them] to jail. The people of the state of California and I deserve justice.”

If you have been a victim of impersonation fraud, please visit the FTC’s website. Also, visit BreakingtheInsidiousSilence.com and share your comments.

For press inquiries, contact cindybrown@breakingtheinsidioussilence.com

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