69-Year-Old Baltimore Ex-Mayor, Catherine Pugh Sentenced To 3 Years In Book For Fraud

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mayor Catherine Pugh, Former Baltimore Mayor, has been Sentenced to 3 Years for fraud and tax evasion schemes involving bogus sales of her children’s book series.

Catherine Pugh, a 69-year-old Democrat who resigned last year, was also ordered to pay around $1 million in restitution, according to a statement from the federal prosecutor for the US East Coast state of Maryland.

U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow also ordered Ms. Pugh, a Democrat, to pay more than $400,000 in restitution and to forfeit nearly $700,000. She faces three years of supervised released once she completes her prison sentence.

“The defendant’s scheme to cheat the taxpayers of Baltimore was as bold as it was brazen, and today’s sentence shows that the punishment for those actions is swift and severe,” said Alfred Watson, assistant special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Baltimore field office.

In a video that her lawyers submitted to the judge late Wednesday, Ms. Pugh said she accepted full responsibility for her actions. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I messed up. I really messed up.”

But Maryland District Court Judge Deborah Chasanow said Thursday,

“I have yet frankly to hear any explanation that makes sense.”
“This was not a tiny mistake, lapse of judgment,”

she said, according to the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

“This became a very large fraud. The nature and circumstances of this offence clearly I think are extremely, extremely serious.”

The newspaper revealed last year that the University of Maryland Medical System spent $500,000 to buy 100,000 copies of Pugh’s “Healthy Holly” children’s books between 2012 and 2018, while she was a member of the health system’s board.

After first denouncing an investigation into the matter as a “witch hunt,” the former mayor then called the incident a “regrettable mistake” and returned $100,000 of the sales.

But other sales were uncovered, including to Kaiser Permanente insurance company, which said it paid Pugh $114,000 for “Healthy Holly” books from 2015 to 2018.

Kaiser had won a $48 million contract in 2017 to provide health insurance to city employees from 2018 to 2020.

Pugh, who was elected in 2016, finally quit her position in May 2019 after calls for her resignation intensified.


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