Maine Man Sentenced to Jail for Charity Fraud

Portland, Me - A Maine man has been sentenced to jail, after pleading guilty to mail and tax fraud. The case revolves around over 4.6 million dollars in money that was supposedly for charity, but went to personal expenses.

United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Russell W. Brace, a/k/a “Rusty,” 82, of Camden, Maine, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Judge George Z. Singal to four years in prison and two years of supervised release for mail and tax fraud. He was also ordered to pay full restitution. He pled guilty on May 29, 2015.

According to court records, between about July 1999 and September 25, 2014, Brace, the president and director of United Mid-Coast Charities, Inc. (“UMCC”), fraudulently obtained $4,646,636.45 by claiming that monies donated to UMCC, would be used for UMCC’s charitable purposes and not diverted for the defendant’s personal expenses or benefit. In fact, Brace diverted the funds into his own accounts and used them for his benefit and to pay personal expenses. To execute the scheme, he used the U.S. Postal Service to mail donation request letters, UMCC brochures, self-mailer remittance envelopes and thank-you letters. The investigation also revealed that he failed to report the money he obtained as income on annual federal tax returns thus failing to pay almost $390,000 in taxes and that he also filed false non-profit income tax returns for UMCC in which he failed to disclose the funds he illegally obtained.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.