By U.S. Attorney News Release/Greg Cotterill
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Mary Brainard, 60, of Seneca Falls, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, to wire fraud affecting a financial institution. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who handled the case, stated 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.
Charges against Calvin Brainard are still pending.
The couple was arrested in December 2011.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 11, at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Geraci.
Mary Brainard also faces charges in Seneca County Court.
A Seneca County Grand Jury last June filed a 19-count superseding indictment charging Brainard 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 replaces a five-count indictment that was filed in April 2012. The superseding 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
Photo by Patrick McMullin.com