A former attorney who perpetrated a multimillion-dollar investment fraud scheme, was convicted today by a jury in the District of Columbia, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu for the District of Columbia.
Brynee Baylor was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and five counts of first-degree fraud under District of Columbia law.
According to court documents and the evidence presented at trial, Baylor, a former partner in the D.C. law firm of Baylor & Jackson PLLC, conspired with a Pennsylvania man and his company, known as the Milan Group, to recruit investors to a purported trading program. Investors were promised extremely large profits in a short time with little or no risk.
The evidence presented at trial showed that in 2010 and 2011, Baylor caused more than $2 million of investor funds to pass through the Baylor & Jackson lawyer trust account. More than half of the investor funds were used for the benefit of Baylor, the Pennsylvania man, the Milan Group, and Baylor & Jackson. Baylor falsely assured investors that the purported trading program was legitimate and had little if any risk. Baylor also falsely told investors that she had personally observed investors successfully complete transactions with the Milan Group. In reality, the Milan Group did not complete any such transactions and did not return any of the investors’ money.
In 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Baylor and others for fraud in connection with the purported trading program.
Sentencing is not yet scheduled. Baylor faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count, 20 years in prison for the securities fraud count, and 10 years in prison for each of the first-degree fraud counts. Baylor will also face a term of supervised release and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Liu thanked the SEC for its invaluable assistance and commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Jeffrey McLellan and Eric Powers of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.