Former District of Columbia Attorney Sentenced to Prison for $2 Million Investment Fraud Scheme and Failure to File Tax Return
A former District of Columbia attorney was sentenced to prison today in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia for operating a fraudulent trading program for investors and failing to file a tax return announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
Brynee Baylor, was sentenced to 25 months in prison for conspiracy and securities fraud, one year of prison (concurrent) for her other fraud convictions and for failure to file a tax return and pay taxes, three years of supervised release, and restitution to her victims in the amount of $2.2 million dollars. In May 2019, a jury convicted Baylor 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. In June 2019, Baylor pleaded guilty to one count of willfully failing to timely file a 2010 individual income tax return and to pay taxes.
According to court documents, Baylor, a former partner in the D.C. law firm Baylor & Jackson PLLC, conspired with a Pennsylvania man and his company, 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 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 the investors lost all their funds.
In 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Baylor and others for fraud in connection with the purported trading program. In 2013, Baylor was permanently enjoined from promoting investment programs and ordered to pay disgorgement and a civil penalty.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman 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 prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.