Seneca Falls woman pleads guilty to fraud
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 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.