“The Real Housewives of Potomac” drama tends to be low stakes (squabbles over seating arrangements, really?), but here’s an off-screen exception: A federal grand jury on Friday indicted friend-of-the-cast Brynee Baylor on charges that she bilked investors in a bogus scheme that promised huge returns and little risk.
Baylor, a 42-year-old attorney who was disbarred in Maryland last year, was charged with conspiracy, securities fraud, obstruction of justice and failure to pay taxes and file timely tax returns. The charges accuse Baylor, along with a Pennsylvania man named Frank Pavlico (who committed suicide in 2012), of taking more than half of over $2 million of investors’ money in 2010 and 2011.
Baylor “falsely assured investors that the purported trading program was legitimate, that it had little, if any, risk,” according to a statement from the Justice Department.
The alleged scheme also landed Baylor in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which ordered her in August to pay more than $2.7 million. (Bonus legal trouble: The new indictment accuses her of lying to the SEC during its investigation.)
Baylor, a mother of four from Potomac, isn’t an official cast member of the Bravo show, but she had a recurring role as a pal of the Potomac clique in the show’s first season. But now she might have to trade in the standard “Real Housewife”-issue Herve Leger for something a little orange-er: The securities-fraud count alone carries a 20-year maximum prison term.
Baylor said she had no comment on the indictment, but earlier this year she described her legal woes as “a nightmare.” Of the SEC’s claims that she used investors’ money for luxury items such as Jimmy Choos? “I’m sorry, I’ve always had nice shoes,” she told us.