Brynee Baylor, “Charrisse’s friend” according to Bravo, was front and center with a shoulder: “Your happiness is just as important as everyone else’s, Charrisse,” said Baylor, putting down the champagne long enough to offer that patented bestie boost of confidence.
But just who is this professional “friend of?” The answer is laced with enough scandal for a reality show of Baylor’s own.
In June, Baylor — a Potomac resident and Howard Law School grad — consented to disbarment from the practice of law in Maryland “for engaging in professional misconduct,” according to court records. That was the culmination of a years-long battle that involved the Securities and Exchange Commission, Baylor’s law firm, former client Frank Pavlico and a so-called “prime bank scheme.”
In 2011, the SEC filed a civil lawsuit against Baylor, her firm, and Pavlico, charging that they defrauded 13 investors out of $2.7 million. According to the SEC’s initial complaint, Baylor and Pavlico offered potential investors impossible returns, some up to 22 times the initial investment, in less than two months.
But the funds were never invested. Instead, according to the SEC, Pavlico and Baylor spent the money “to purchase luxury cars such as a Range Rover and a Jaguar, make purchases at expensive restaurants and retailers including Jimmy Choo, pay for a trip to the Bahamas, pay other personal expenses, pay B&J business expenses” and make other payments.
Baylor claimed she, too, was duped by Pavlico, a former Mafia informant who once served 10 months for money laundering in federal prison. Pavlico hung himself in 2012.
When reached by phone she scoffed at the idea that she’d steal money to go to the Bahamas, adding “And, I’m sorry, I’ve always had nice shoes.” After representing herself during the appeals process, Baylor eventually decided to move on. In August, the U.S. District Court for D.C. ordered her to pay back $2,752,758.64 — just as “Real Housewives of Potomac” wrapped up filming its first season.
“It was a really a nightmare,” said Baylor of the entire legal ordeal.
So why do a reality show?
The mom of four chose to appear on “Real Housewives,” even with the potential of having her dirty laundry aired for millions of viewers to sniff, because she wanted to have a say after her professional reputation went from “outstanding” to not so much. The plan was to get out in front of it, she said. “I’m not going to lead the conversation with it, but I’m not going to shy away from it either,” added Baylor.
None of this courtroom drama has played out on the Bravo show — yet. Baylor, who is one of the producers of a Lifetime movie about NBA star Kevin Durant’s mother called “The Real MVP: The Wanda Pratt Story,” could be saving her tale of innocence lost for the big screen.
“I would love to do that as long as it gives someone else a real idea of how a wolf in sheep’s clothing operates,” Baylor told us. “My story is like a bad horror film.”