The Latest: Former Baltimore mayor enters guilty pleas
BALTIMORE, MD – The Latest on the fraud and tax evasion case against disgraced former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (all times local):
The disgraced former mayor of Baltimore has pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges but pleaded not guilty to wire fraud in a case involving sales of her self-published children's books.
Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the government and tax evasion. The pleas came a day after an 11-count indictment was unsealed.
The case involves sales of her “Healthy Holly” books to non-profits and foundations to promote her political career and fund her run for mayor. Pugh, a Democrat who was elected in 2016, resigned under pressure in May.
A federal grand jury indictment returned Nov. 14 also charged two Pugh associates, Gary Brown, Jr., and Roslyn Wedington, who have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax fraud.
Facing fraud charges, disgraced former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has an arraignment scheduled before a district court judge instead of a magistrate judge, which typically means a defendant intends to plead guilty.
The arraignment comes as news outlets, citing anonymous sources, report Pugh has reached a plea agreement.
One of Pugh’s attorneys, Steven Silverman, didn’t immediately return an email and phone call seeking comment Thursday. A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Robert Hur’s office declined to comment on Pugh’s case.
The charges against Pugh stem from sales of her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s books. The book sales netted her hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The ex-mayor of Baltimore, a city where law enforcement has long fought corruption and violent crime, is set to appear in federal court on fraud and tax evasion charges involving sales of her self-published children’s books.
Catherine Pugh is scheduled to surrender to U.S. Marshals on Thursday before the initial court appearance. The charges stem from her “Healthy Holly” children’s books whose sales netted the former mayor of Maryland’s largest city hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The charges against the ex-mayor come as Baltimore recently hit 300 homicides for the fifth year in a row. Baltimore also is still grappling with a major police scandal. A task force created to get illegal guns off the streets spent years ripping off drug dealers and stealing money from citizens.
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