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Seneca Falls attorney and wife charged with fraud

Attorney Calvin Brainard, 66, and Mary Brainard, 52, both of Seneca Falls, Seneca County, are charged with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field said the Brainards owned and operated a mortgage business known as BMC Capital. According to the criminal complaint, in 2009, a client of the defendants’ sought to refinance a mortgage through BMC Capital. Calvin Brainard, a practicing lawyer, represented the client and also acted as the closing agent for the bank.

It is alleged that instead of applying the refinanced loan proceeds of $95,208 to pay off the client’s pre-existing mortgage with Bank of America, the defendants diverted the money to themselves and spent it. To conceal their wrongdoing, the Brainards are further accused of forging various official bank records to try to make it appear that Bank of America had been repaid but lost the money.

The defendants made an initial appearance on the complaint Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and were released on their own recognizance. Mary Brainard is due back in court for further proceedings on Jan. 6 and Calvin Brainard is due back in court Jan. 26.

The government’s investigation into the activities of BMC Capital and the Brainards is continuing, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York,