Thursday, February 26, 2015



RAYE A. SMITH                                                          ) CASE No.: 15CVF00096
525 Bunker Hill Road                                                      )
Ashtabula, Ohio 44004                                                    ) Judge:
                            Plaintiff,                                               )
                                                               )    RESPONSE TO COMPLAINT IN
                                                                                                                      )     FORCIBLE ENTRY AND
                              -vs-                                                    )    DETAINER AND COUNTERCLAIM
MELINDA PILLSBURY-FOSTER                             )
525 Bunker Hill Road                                                      )
Upstairs                                                                           )
Ashtabula, Ohio 44004                                                    )
                      Defendant.                                                 )

Now comes the Defendant, Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, in Pro Se, and states her Response and Counterclaim as follows:
          1. Plaintiff, RAYE A. SMITH, hereinafter referred to as Plaintiff, entered into an agreement to provide corporate housing as part of a package offered Defendant which included a partnership in the yet to be incorporated entity, Rubicon Aegis, in October of 2011. Housing included Defendant's handicapped son. The final agreement took place on October 25, 2011. Defendant was persuaded by Plaintiff's representations to relocate to Ohio on these promises. There was at no time any implied cost for housing, which was a legitimate business expense deductible by the corporation. Defendant assumes these were listed on the tax returns submitted by Plaintiff. The purpose for relocating was a redesign for Rumor Mill News. Rubicon Aegis, LLC is, according to the belief of Defendant, the owner of Rumor Mill News, through Plaintiff's Ohio Corporation by that name. Defendant's residence was to be of short duration because Defendant owns a house in California which was left unrented at the request of Plaintiff. The duration of residence changed at the request of Plaintiff due to Plaintiff's failure to provide the needed resources to carry out the project, which was to begin immediately upon Defendant's arrival. Defendant was asked to wait for resources to become available, then asked to find volunteers to provide resources, then asked to pay the costs herself. Defendant was also asked to wait for full payment of the promised salary and benefits, receiving only commissions on advertising, which she had been receiving while still in California. These changes took place only after Defendant arrived in Ohio.
        2. Defendant was employed as Director for Advertising for Rumor Mill News early in September, 2011. Defendant was told Rubicon Aegis had not yet been incorporated and this would be one of the first matters to handle when Defendant arrived. Defendant was then providing advertising service for Rumor Mill News and for RMN Radio. Defendant was also a radio host on RMN Radio and assisting with management for RMN Radio. All required work was carried out from California. There was no need of a relocation to facilitate this work which was readily handled online and by phone. Commissions were remitted to Defendant by PayPal. Plaintiff said Rumor Mill News was worth nearly one million dollars at that point. Defendant checked this online and the figure was closer to a half million, but still substantial. (See Exhibits 1 & 2 & 23 – September 13, 2011 Email, Employment Letter, Letter from Advertiser)
         3. In fact, Rubicon Aegis, LLC, had been incorporated in Ohio in 2010. Defendant discovered this fact in late 2013. Partnership in the second company would not have provided to Defendant equity in the work she had been asked to perform. Defendant asked on multiple occasions to see corporate records. Plaintiff claimed she could not locate them each time. This claim had credibility with Defendant because Plaintiff is a hoarder and upon Defendant's arrival at the corporate headquarters, then a desk in the corner of Plaintiff's bedroom, masses of unfiled papers were everywhere. During the time when Defendant was working on the plans for the redesign Plaintiff asked Defendant to pay for the second incorporation and other expenses herself. Defendant refused as this was not their understanding. Until late in 2013 Defendant believed Rubicon Aegis, LLC had never been incorporated. (See Exhibit 3 – Ohio Incorporation)
        4. As part of her campaign to persuade Defendant to relocate Plaintiff offered to pay for the cost of having Defendant drive to Ohio. Defendant was uncomfortable making the trip because Defendant is legally handicapped and subject to migraine headaches and had poor vision. Driving at night is both stressful and likely to cause migraines. Records of these expenditures could be obtained by subpoena of Plaintiff's financial records for November, 2011 as she called and made the reservations, paying for these by credit card.
      5. Plaintiff also expressed a wish to become Defendant's son's Godmother and ensure he was cared for in the event Defendant was unable to do so due to the inherited heart condition which caused the deaths of Defendant's two sisters and one brother. The expression of concern for Defendant's son, who needs care and oversight 24/7, was a pivotal factor in the decision to accept the offer made by Plaintiff. Defendant invested a degree of trust in Plaintiff because of these expressions which proved to be unwarranted. On the basis of these representations Defendant agreed to come to Ohio. Defendant was assured by Plaintiff money would be made available to allow her to return to California the next summer if more time for the redesign was needed so she could rent out her home, which remains vacant to this day. Plaintiff refused to pay for these expenses when the time arrived.
(See Exhibits 4 & 5, Medical Records Defendant and son)
         6. As one of her first duties upon arriving in Ashtabula Defendant was asked to design business cards for use by Plaintiff and Defendant and find a state where incorporation could take place. Defendant provided three states as possibilities, with a list of costs, these printed and handed to Plaintiff, as per her request. (See Exhibit 6 – Business cards)
        7. Defendant, while waiting for the redesign to take place, wrote letters for Plaintiff, chauffeured her, began arrangements for a conference, at her direction, wrote police complaints at her direction, cleaned the house, built furniture, cleaned the basement, still full of unemptied boxes from Plaintiff's move from California, scanned and inventoried records supplied to her for this purpose and provided meals for the special diet Plaintiff claimed she needed medically. Defendant was never paid for this work, which had nothing to do with advertising, for which she did not receive the agreed salary. Copies of these, and of the initial plans for the redesign are available and can be provided.
        8. Defendant has never been fired from the position of Director for Advertising. Instead, Plaintiff shut off the corporate phone provided and Defendant's Internet and redirected advertising communications so Defendant was no longer receiving them, refusing to discuss why this was happening. Defendant began using her own cell phone and obtained, at her own expense, a hot spot and continued to carry out the duties of Director for Advertising though she did not receive commissions from Plaintiff. Defendant had been given an email address created for her, and had been using this since January 26, 2012. These actions took place a few days before Defendant received the first eviction order, as documented below. No discussion or disagreement ever took place because Plaintiff refused .
        9. At this time Defendant learned Plaintiff had been slandering Defendant at the church they both attended in attempts to characterize her as an 'uninvited squatter.' Plaintiff carried out a campaign of slander and libel against Defendant at church and elsewhere. Eventually, Plaintiff appeared to realize this was not working and left the church. Defendant believes, on the evidence, this was carried out to evade responsibility for the related costs of employment, salary plus commissions and medical benefits agreed upon. Defendant believes, among other violations of the original agreement, Plaintiff failed to pay for unemployment benefits with the State of Ohio as well. Plaintiff refused to show her the paperwork which should have been filed. (See Exhibit 16 – Letter from Church Member)
        10. Defendant discovered as a result of the slanders and from observing Plaintiff that lies, misrepresentation, and fraud were essential elements of how her website was run. On the site monthly pleas for money, usually around $3,000 - $5,000 were made to pay Plaintiff's personal bills. Defendant saw, after moving to Ohio, these presented fraudulent circumstances, including health problems and other non-existent issues. Additionally, further research revealed a pattern of deceit which was present in Plaintiff's behavior from at least 1992. In Washoe, Nevada, on Aug 30, 1989 Plaintiff married Gunther K. Russbacher. Russbacher was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 21 years in prison in 1992 according to an article published in the Chicago Tribune titled, “A Pro Con.” The article follows Russbacher through his life as a con-artist as he impersonates military officers and professional airline pilots and bilks unwary clients while acting as a stock broker. Plaintiff and her husband were reported to have defrauded readers of Phoenix Journal, a print publication, of thousands of dollars through fraudulent use of their credit cards to pay for travel and hotels and expenses related to the supposed coronation of Gunther K. Russbacher as Arch Duke of Austria. Russbacher was arrested in Austria while Plaintiff fled to the United States, continuing to ask unwary supporters for money to pay for her personal debts. Around 2007 Plaintiff began asking RMN Readers to contribute to the purchase and construction of a 'Family Campground,' which would be available to them when economic conditions collapsed. Although Plaintiff claimed to have purchased land in the Rock Creek, Ohio area no land is in either her name, the name of the corporation or the names of those cooperating with the scheme in Ohio in the records available from the Office of the Assessor. Plaintiff extracted from RMN Readers between $20,000 - $30,000 from last May until today supposedly to pay for a move, which may have begun but has not yet been completed. (See Exhibits 13, 14- E, K & L, Libelous Post, E - RMN Front Page, K - Phoenix Journal Pages 63 & 64, L - ARTICLE – Chicago Tribune - A Pro Con.doc)
          11. Defendant was handed a first eviction notice by her son, who found it taped to the door of
her bedroom on August 12, 2013. He then walked to church, where Defendant was attending a Vestry meeting. Upon arriving home, Defendant immediately called her attorney in California, Dara Leigh Bloom, Esq. who wrote a response and demand for settlement. This was served by certified mail but Plaintiff refused to open it. A copy had been emailed to her. This was followed by another eviction notice and response from Defendant's attorney. Plaintiff again refused to accept delivery. NOTICE TO LEAVE PREMISES was received by Defendant on or near the date of October 29, 2014 and again Defendant offered mediation, this time online at the website where she began documenting these events publicly, (See Exhibits 7, 8, & 9 – Responses to Notices & Photos of final notice)
            12. The website provided Defendant with more information through communications from former RMN Readers and present RMN Readers who were curious and persuaded by the evidence provided that Plaintiff is actually a con-artist. These individuals began sending Defendant more specifics on Plaintiff from online sources she had not yet found herself.
          13. During the period between September 2013 and present Defendant has been harassed, threatened, and subjected to multiple abuses by Plaintiff and her paid employees which caused emotional trauma, potential injury and threatened her life and the life of her son. These actions included vandalizing her car, taking out lighting on the stairs which could have resulted in Defendant's son falling and injuring himself, disabling the drain in the bathtub and more. Defendant's son must use a cane to walk and has only limited mobility. He is entirely blind in one eye and 70% blind in the other. In January 2014, immediately after a home invasion and murder took place in Ashtabula, Defendant and her son, Arthur, began finding the front door unlocked, especially late at night. Because Plaintiff had placed bookcases blocking access to the hallway only Defendant and her son were thus put at risk. Arthur had always been, according to Defendant, careful about locking doors even when he was next to the door on the front porch. Defendant would get up several times during the night, knowing she had locked the door, to find it again unlocked. This stopped abruptly when the perpetrators of the home invasion were found and prosecuted. At the same period Plaintiff had been heard urging new paid employees to 'solve her problem for her.' These urgings to violence were easily heard even with doors closed. Plaintiff also indirectly received a death threat against herself and her son made by Plaintiff and conveyed by a man she characterized as one of her best friends, Alexander, Duke of Manchester. This took place on August 22, 2014 and was received by Defendant from Wendy Buford Montagu, the former wife of Manchester. The message had been left on Wendy's answering machine at her work and stated a contract, initiated by Plaintiff, was out on Defendant and her son. Manchester has a criminal record which includes 22 felonies. In the audio tape Defendant is described as a “dead person walking.” Defendant reported this, with a copy of the audio, to the Ashtabula Police and to the FBI. (See Exhibits 20 & 21 – Death Threat Audio, Police Report August 2014)
         14. On December 30, 2014, the water was turned off at 525 Bunker Hill Road. Defendant called to ascertain the reason and learned this had happened because Plaintiff had not paid Aqua and was moving. Believing the utility company had been truthfully informed by Plaintiff Defendant paid the outstanding charges and had the water put in her name. Water service was restored within two hours. Defendant, worried the electricity would also be turned off, called Illumination and discovered Plaintiff had ended her service at the close of business that day. Defendant arranged to take over the payment for Illumination, putting the service in her own name. Defendant also provided a letter of credit from Southern California Edison on her present service in California so she would not have to pay a deposit. Defendant then called Dominion and again found the service was being turned off and moved it to her own name. (See Exhibits 10, 11 & 12 – Aqua Payment Dec. 30, 2014, Account numbers for Illumination and Dominion, SCE Letter of Credit)
        15. On the basis of these facts Defendant was assured Plaintiff was finally moving, as she had been saying online for months. Defendant called the property owner, Robert Brobst on December 30, 2014 and left a message, asking him to call her about renting the house herself. Sometime later Defendant learned Brobst, had called at the request of Plaintiff and asked the utilities be put back in Plaintiff's name until January 30. At nearly the same time Brobst visited the house and handed the Defendant a copy of a NOTICE TO LEAVE PREMISES made out to Plaintiff, with a note including 'other occupants.' In the interim Brobst had contacted the utility companies and arranged, without the permission of Defendant, to have these returned to Plaintiff but then returned to Defendant on February 2. Defendant was not consulted and did not consent to this and again attempted to contact Brobst by phone. Her call was not returned. (See Exhibit 17 – Brobst Notice)
         16. On January 16 Defendant learned Plaintiff had posted a libelous letter on Rumor Mill News. To quote the relevant part of the Posting, “ I do not know how long it will take my lawyer, my landlord and his lawyer to get her out of the house. I have been told by someone who knows her that she has been evicted 13 times before. This means she knows every trick in the book and probably knows more than all of the lawyers involved in this eviction. In today’s society most criminals know their legal rights better than their lawyers.” This was the first indication Defendant had that Plaintiff, Brobst, and two attorneys were cooperating in what has the appearance of an abuse of process and conspiracy. The charges in the post are libelous, and easily so proved. Defendant sent a faxed letter and attachments to Brobst on January 22 informing him she no longer wished to rent the house and was looking for alternatives. Believing she had found a place to live and struggling with the constant harassment and threats made by Plaintiff and Plaintiff's paid help, she wrote another letter on February 2, 2015, further outlining the reasons she would not rent from him. Plaintiff posted another comment on RMN stating Brobst would not let Plaintiff move until Defendant had moved. (See Exhibits 13, 14 &15 – Libelous Post, January 2015, Brobst Letter & Attachments, Jan. 22, Brobst Letter, Feb. 2nd)
          17. Defendant is a person of good character and has been the sole caretaker of her disabled son since September, 1997 when he suffered the first of two massive brain injuries. Contrary to slanders told by Plaintiff she is honest, hardworking, and reliable and has worked in multiple capacities in her community in not for profit organizations for such issues as Right to Life, ending domestic violence, feeding the needy, animal rescue and more. She has been honored for her work on numerous occasions, most of which was unpaid because she believes in giving back to the community.
{See Exhibits 16, 18, 19 & 22, Letter from Church Member, Letter from W. Leon Smith, Letter from Gail Lightfoot, Declaration from Ayn Pillsbury)
        18. Defendant offered through email, certified letter, and by word to enter into negotiations for a settlement multiple times with Plaintiff with a reputable third party agreeable to both Plaintiff and Defendant but received no response to this offer from the time it was first made, September 2013, until today. She believes the actions of Plaintiff were taken, involving others as well, to evade being sued. Defendant has been attempting to find representation for months. Defendant remains willing to accept mediation if such mediation takes into account the events herein documented, resolving all potential issues between parties and mediated by a mutually agreed individual.


         19. Defendant asks the motion for eviction be dropped because the conditions pertaining to an eviction are not present. Housing was corporate. Plaintiff has engaged in egregious fraud, misrepresentation, and other unlawful actions. Plaintiff is attempting to use the form of eviction to evade the real issue, this being the violation of contract and an attempt to ignore her obligation as an employer to fire Defendant and then come to an equitable settlement which Defendant could accept.


        20. Defendant hereby realleges and reavers and hereby adopts by reference reach and every statement and allegation made in the First Response and Claim for Relief above, paragraphs one (1) through nineteen (19), as if fully rewritten.
       Defendant owes Plaintiff the sum of zero dollars for the use of the corporate housing assigned to her and occupied by her and her son from November 30, 2011 until today. Due to Plaintiff's failure to carry out her promises Defendant lacked funds to escape a continuing barrage of abuse by moving and from necessity was forced to remain in circumstances which were traumatic, uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous.
WHEREFORE, Defendant demands judgment against Plaintiff for Damages, Violation of contract, and financial losses sustained by Defendant caused by the actions cited above. These include damages to Defendant, her son, benefits never provided for health care, the promised salary, and other losses directly resulting from the actions of Plaintiff. The cost of health care, the unpaid salary, and money paid by Defendant for carrying out the work assigned is One Hundred and Sixty-One Thousand Dollars. The cost to Defendant of being unable to care for her home in California and provide dental care and other necessities for herself and her son come to approximately Nineteen Thousand Dollars.

[[Electronic Signature]]__
Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Signed February 25, 2015

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