Ex-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Faces Fraud, Tax Charges

The New York Times 2 weeks ago

BALTIMORE — The disgraced former mayor of Baltimore who resigned amid investigations into deals to sell her self-published children's books has been charged with fraud and tax evasion.

An 11-count federal indictment unsealed Wednesday accuses Catherine Pugh of abusing her office for personal gain.

Pugh resigned in early May after authorities began probing whether she arranged bulk sales of “Healthy Holly” books to disguise hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks.

FBI and IRS agents raided her offices, homes and other locations in late April and seized several items, including money transfer receipts, a laptop, compact discs and a $100,000 check from the University of Maryland Medical System to Pugh's "Healthy Holly" company.

The first-term Democrat became mayor in late 2016.

Pugh has been in seclusion since early April, when she took a leave from the mayor’s office due to what her lawyer described as poor health following a bout of pneumonia. Attorney Steven Silverman at that time asserted that Pugh was so fragile physically and mentally that she was unable to make "major decisions."

Federal, state and local probes have been looking into questionable financial arraignments that over the years netted Pugh roughly $800,000 for her hard-to-find books. The books were meant to be provided to schools and day care centers, but it's unclear where tens of thousands of copies ended up.

The Democrat became mayor in late 2016 after having served in the state legislature since 2005. As a state senator, she once sat on a committee that funded the University of Maryland Medical System, one of the state’s largest private employers.

The hospital network — on whose board she sat starting in 2001 and until the scandal over the illustrated paperbacks erupted in March — was Pugh’s biggest book customer.

The system paid Pugh $500,000 for 100,000 copies. There was no contract behind the deal and the medical system described some of the purchases as “grants” in federal filings. She returned her most recent $100,000 payment and described the deal as a "regrettable mistake" during a news conference days before she retreated from public view.

Health care provider Kaiser Permanente also disclosed that it paid Pugh’s Healthy Holly LLC about $114,000 between 2015 and 2018 for roughly 20,000 copies of the books. She oversaw Baltimore’s spending board in 2017, when the city awarded a $48 million contract to the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc.

Pugh, 69, became the second mayor of Baltimore in less than a decade to step down because of a scandal. Former Mayor Sheila Dixon left office in 2010 as part of a plea deal for misappropriating about $500 in gift cards meant for needy families.

A longtime city council member, Bernard "Jack" Young, took over the role of mayor after Pugh resigned. He inherited a city with failing schools, a thriving illegal drug market and one of the nation's highest rates of violent crime.


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UPI › Politics › 2 weeks ago
Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was indicted Wednesday on 11 counts of fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy in what prosecutors say was a corrupt scheme involving sales of a self-published children's book series.
CBS News › 2 weeks ago
Baltimore's former mayor, Catherine Pugh, is facing 11 counts of fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy. It all stems from a children's book she wrote. Jeff Pegues reports.
New York Post › 2 weeks ago
Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was hit with federal corruption charges Wednesday related to a shady children’s book deal that prompted her resignation. Pugh is accused of improperly tapping into the nearly $800,000 in proceeds from her...
UPI › 2 weeks ago
One day after she was indicted on 11 federal criminal charges, former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty Thursday to four counts of conspiracy and tax evasion as part of an agreement with prosecutors.
UPI › 2 weeks ago
One day after she was indicted on 11 federal counts of fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy, former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, reports said Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal › 2 weeks ago
Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has been indicted on federal charges of wire fraud and tax evasion stemming from self-published books at the heart of a scandal that prompted her resignation in May.
Breitbart › Politics › 2 weeks ago
Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) was federally charged Wednesday with 11 counts of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy.
ABC News › 2 weeks ago
Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was indicted in the Healthy Holly children's book scheme.
CNN › Politics › 2 weeks ago
Catherine Pugh, the former mayor of Baltimore who resigned in May amid a book deal scandal, was indicted on charges related to tax evasion and wire fraud, the US Attorney's Office in Baltimore announced Wednesday.
The Boston Globe › 2 weeks ago
BALTIMORE — Catherine Pugh, the former mayor of Baltimore, who swept into office three years ago pledging to restore integrity in a city grappling with corruption, entrenched economic inequality and pervasive violence, pleaded guilty Thursday to...
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