Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Keela Holmes
Olympic Gold Medalist Scammed
Now Cindy Brown Clings to her Villa Park Home in Orange County
By Kenneth Miller
Sentinel Managing Editor
Cindy Brown had accumulated assets estimated at $2.5 million by the time she went out for a night of fun at the Executive Suite, a trendy nightspot in Long Beach on a November evening in 2004.
It was on that night that Brown, a former high school basketball All American at Grant in Portland, met and befriended a beautiful woman named Kela Holmes and it changed her life for the worse.
Brown went from a prep hoop career where she averaged 40 points per game onto California State University Long Beach where she scored a still standing NCAA record of 60 point in one game.
After college she was selected to represent the United States Women’s Team in the 1988 Seoul Olympics where she won a Gold Medal.
Destined for stardom, she went on to the WNBA where in 1998 she starred for the Detroit Shock averaging 11 points per game and after a second stint with the Shock when she tallied just 5.9 points she left to play overseas where her career lasted 14 years before she retired.
Brown had purchased a house in Villa Park some 20 years ago and says that she was the only Black in the neighborhood.
The 6’1 former hoop star who is a member of the Cal State Long Beach Hall of Fame had it all. She was rich, single and also admitted she was gay.
Her post athletic career had afforded her many luxuries, several exotic cars, limos, a yacht, stocks and a loaded bank account.
By her own admission she lived rather modestly and comfortably. At least until she met Holmes on that fateful night.
A rather attractive woman, Holmes introduced herself to Brown as personal manager with relationships that could benefit former players of her stature.
“She 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 remembered.
A couple of months later, the two was sharing Brown’s home in Villa Park and subsequently the two became lovers, although Brown would not describe it so passionately.
Acting as Brown’s business manager, Holmes made her $269,780 stock funds with American Funds Group vanish by 2005.
Shortly there after, the Villa Park home she bought in 1991 had lost more than $600,000 in equity to a predatory lender introduced to her by Holmes.
By January 2005 Brown says she went to the Orange County Sheriff to file a compliant against Holmes, but she says nothing was done.
Brown alleges that Holmes bilked her out of everything and was involved in a sophisticated elaborate scam.
She denies that it was just a relationship gone sour. “I just tried to help her and she acted as my business manager,” said Brown.
In the meantime with the equity in her dream home drained, her cars and boats all gone and her pockets empty, her Villa Park neighbors began to make her life more miserable.
In August 2008 the neighbors reported they heard shots fired in her home and the Sheriff were called and burst into her home injuring her arm and ankle that cost her another $13,000. A bill that has not been paid.
Brown suggests Holmes may have filed the report, but she fired no shots and she was home alone.
She contends that the Villa Park neighbors and the Orange County Sheriff are conspiring to force her from her home.
The city exercised an abatement nuisance warrant to force her to comply with a landscaping ordinance and has since provided the landscaping for her and appears preparing to lien the cost against her home.
She has video tapes to prove many of the claims and says that, “I have been called n**ger, I’ve been called f**king dyke by neighbors and the Sheriff have told me to just move.”
However, Brown says that she does not plan to move. All she has left from her once affluent lifestyle are a 1970 Chevy Truck and a classic 1946 Plymouth.
Wearing a black T-shirt with a silhouette of President Obama, she leaned her head down and cried, “My life is over!”
All she has now is hope that perhaps something will change.