'Real Housewives' Alum Takes 2nd Stab At COVID-19 Release

By Craig Clough
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Law360 (May 19, 2020, 9:00 PM EDT) -- A disbarred Maryland attorney who also appeared on Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Potomac" urged a D.C. federal judge Tuesday to rethink her denial of her bid for early release from prison, arguing that her bad kidneys and hypertension make her "especially susceptible" to COVID-19 and a candidate for compassionate release.

U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle in March denied the first emergency motion Brynee Baylor filed, saying she had not exhausted all administrative remedies and only provided a 15-year-old medical report in her bid for home confinement. Baylor said in her new motion she addressed those issues and "respectfully moves a second time, based on the 'extraordinary and compelling reason' presented by her incurable chronic kidney disease (CKD) and high blood pressure, for compassionate release."

Baylor, who was sentenced in September to two years for her role in a $2 million sham trading program, argued in both motions for release that she has kidney problems, which, along with her hypertension and the poor medical treatment she is receiving in custody, exposes her to infection.

In her new motion, Baylor provided medical records from her incarceration at Federal Prison Camp Alderson in West Virginia and other recent medical records, which she said confirm she has focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a chronic kidney disease, and high blood pressure.

"The National Kidney Foundation and National Heart Association have conclusively determined that kidney conditions and blood pressure problems to be underlying medical conditions that put an individual at higher risk for severe illness if one were to contract COVID-19," Baylor said.

"The Centers for Disease Control have identified several factors that put individuals at higher risk for severe illness, including hypertension and chronic kidney disease," she added.

Baylor also said she has exhausted her administrative remedies because she wrote the warden at FPC Alderson on March 16 to officially request that the warden file a compassionate release motion on her behalf, but the request was denied April 8.

Prosecutors said Baylor funneled more than $2 million of investor funds through a client trust account maintained by her former law firm, at least half of which she and her alleged co-conspirators, Milan Group Inc. and its operator, the late Frank L. Pavlico III, kept for themselves.

Milan Group was held out as a "trading program" aimed at monetizing and leasing foreign bank instruments, according to prosecutors.

On the eve of her scheduled incarceration in January, Baylor asked Judge Huvelle to let her remain free while she appealed her conviction, but the request was denied.

Representatives for the parties did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The government is represented by Jeffrey A. McLellan and Eric B. Powers of the U.S. Department of Justice's Tax Division.

Baylor is represented by David Benowitz of Price Benowitz LLP.

The case is U.S. v. Brynee Baylor, case number 1:16-cr-00180, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

--Additional reporting by Reenat Sinay. Editing by Breda Lund.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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1:16-cr-00180

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District Of Columbia

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October 06, 2016

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