ROCKPORT — The final properties owned by Russell “Rusty” Brace have been sold – with the proceeds turned over to the charity from which he stole more than $4.6 million over 14 years.

Brace was sentenced in October 2015 to 48 months in prison for one count of mail fraud affecting a financial institution and two counts of tax fraud and making false statements.

He began serving the sentence the following month at the federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

Brace, however, is now being housed at FMC Rochester, a secure medical facility operated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in Rochester, Minnesota. Inmates with long-term health problems are assigned to that facility. The facility holds 651 inmates.

Brace is 83 years old. At his sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Portland, his attorney listed numerous health problems that Brace had, including two recent knee replacements, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, hypothyroidism, and pre-diabetes.

His scheduled release date is April 28, 2019.


The final properties owned by Brace were sold during the past several months. Proceeds from those sales went to United Midcoast Charities, based in Camden.

Brace served as volunteer board president of the charity from 1997 until August 2014, when he stepped down. The next board president, Steve Crane, discovered the embezzlement the following month after talking to a donor whose large contributions could not be found among the charity’s financial records.

Brace’s primary home at 39 Spruce St. in Rockport was sold March 22 for $575,000.

The asking price was originally $895,000, but that was lowered multiple times during the nearly two years that the 3,700-square-foot house on a 1-acre lot was on the market.

In December 2015, Brace turned over two adjacent properties on Alpine Way in Rangeley to the charity.

In October 2016, the charity sold one of those properties – a 1-acre lot with a 2,100-square-foot home for $170,000. The house has a wrap-around deck with a view of Rangeley Lake and mountains. There is an adjacent two-car garage. The property has deeded access to the lake.


An adjacent lot was sold June 13 for $29,000.

The properties initially were listed at $399,800.

Current United Midcoast Charities Board President John Viehman said Friday that the organization has recovered about 70 percent of the money stolen by Brace. Viehman said this an extraordinary high percentage to recover in an embezzlement case.

Any income earned by Brace will also be turned over to the charity.

A court approved liens on Brace’s properties in October 2014 after the charity made the request during the early part of the embezzlement investigation. A settlement reached between Brace and the charity resulted in him agreeing in April 2015 to sell his properties and other belongings until $4.6 million was repaid.

The charity recovered slightly more than $1 million through the seizing of Brace’s bank accounts, the sale of his downtown Camden commercial building at 21 Elm St. and the sale of personal properties, including a boat and car.

The charity also received $1,230,730 as part of a settlement with The First Bank, which was paid by the bank’s insurer, Traveler’s Insurance. Brace was depositing checks earmarked for the charity in an account he opened at The First Bank, which was a tenant of Brace’s Camden building.

The properties sold during the past year were below the original asking price, but Viehman said the organization did not want to be in the real estate business. He said Brace’s former home in Rockport needed extensive work, including a new roof.

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