Camden charity rebounds year after embezzlement discovery

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 25, 2015, at 3:28 p.m.

CAMDEN, Maine — The charity that lost more than $4.8 million in donations over the past two decades at the hands of its former president is rebounding well a year after the theft was uncovered.

The United Mid-Coast Charities Board of Directors decided Aug. 19 at its annual meeting to distribute more than $535,000 to area nonprofit organizations. The total distribution is 60 percent more than what UMCC distributed in 2014, Board President Steve Crane said in a news release issued Tuesday.

“With all that United Mid-Coast Charities has gone through in the past year, we’ve been blessed with an overwhelming response from donors in our communities,” Crane said. “This has allowed us to give more in 2015 than we originally thought possible.”

The former board president, Russell Brace, 81, of Rockport, faces up to 30 years in prison after he pleaded guilty May 29 to one count of mail fraud affecting a financial institution and two counts of tax fraud and making false statements. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 9 in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The charity and Brace reached a deal earlier this year in which Brace agreed to repay the organization. That will occur when his properties are sold, but thus far, none have.

The charity earlier said it settled its claims against The First bank but details of that settlement are not being released by either side. The First allowed Brace to deposit checks from United Mid-Coast Charities into his account.

The charity was f​ounded in 1942 and raises designated and undesignated funds that, in turn, are allocated to various nonprofit agencies in Knox and Waldo counties. More information about the charitable organization is available online at printed on July 27, 2017