Romulus Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

The Romulus woman charged in a 19-count indictment made an appearance in Seneca County court Friday afternoon.

60-year old Mary Brainard is charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (class D felony) and 18 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (class E felony).

The indictment alleges that between June 2007 and December 2011, Mary Brainard stole money from the Seneca County Children’s Committee and that on 18 occasions she submitted a false financial report to the committee in order to conceal her commission of the larceny.

Calvin and Mary Brainard walk into the Seneca County Court Friday afternon.

Monroe County Supreme Court Judge Daniel J. Doyle set June 14th as the date for Mary Brainard’s next court appearance when she will enter a plea to the charges.  Judge Doyle wants Defense Attorney Richard Swinehart and Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch to settle on an amount of restitution.

Judge Doyle also wants more information on a federal plea agreement for charges of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.   Mary Brainard pleaded guilty to those charges on May 16th.  Doyle said wants to know how long Brainard would spend in a federal prison and he is not opposed to her serving the sentences concurrently.

In the federal case, Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, says that Mary Brainard and her husband, Calvin Brainard, an attorney, owned and operated BMC Capital, a mortgage brokerage business in Seneca Falls. Through BMC Capital, the Brainards brokered mortgage refinancing loans for various clients.  Calvin Brainard acted as the settlement agent for the lending banks, and received the refinancing loan proceeds into his attorney trust account.

The loan proceeds were supposed to be used to pay off the client's original mortgage loan, but on multiple occasions, Mary Brainard accessed Calvin's attorney trust account and diverted the money to a different account that she controlled. Mary Brainard then used the client money for her own purposes, including to repay monies that she had previously stolen from other clients.  To try to cover up her scheme, Mary Brainard created false bank records and other documents. In total, Mary Brainard stole at least $400,000 from at least 10 individuals in 2009 and 2010.

Federal charges against Calvin Brainard are still pending.

In court Friday were a few members of the Seneca County Children’s Committee and about a dozen friends and family members supporting Calvin and Mary Brainard. Those friends and family surrounded Mary as she left the courthouse.

Judge Doyle is hearing the case as Seneca County Court Judge Dennis Bender recused himself because of prior dealings with the couple.

Read Mary Brainard’s federal plea agreement, she’ll be sentenced in federal court in Rochester on September 11th.





Brainard supporters tried hard to block me from taking pictures. All photos by Greg Cotterill, Finger Lakes News Radio.





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