Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, a Democrat, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple counts including tax evasion and wire fraud.
The charges stem from a pay-to-play scheme in which she received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments for a self-published children’s book titled ‘Healthy Holly.’
She reportedly sold copies of the book for $500,000 to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) while serving on their board.
Additionally, Kaiser Permanente allegedly paid Pugh more than $100,000 for the book as the company was seeking a $48 million contract to insure city employees. Another non-profit company sent $80,000 to Pugh for access as well.
Pugh resigned as mayor in May, shortly after the FBI raided her home. She could be subject to a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted.
Catherine Pugh, former Baltimore mayor who resigned amid investigations into deals to sell her self-published children’s books, was charged with fraud and tax evasion. An 11-count federal indictment accuses Pugh of abusing her office for personal gain. https://t.co/pH9pdPzfd9
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 20, 2019
Pugh Wasn’t Kidding When She Said She Could Smell the Rats
The indictment lays out 11 separate charges which paint a very grim picture of Pugh’s scheme.
Officials indicate that “proceeds of the sale of fraudulently obtained Healthy Holly books” were used “for her own purposes.”
Those purposes include funding “straw donations to Pugh’s mayoral election campaign” and “to fund the purchase and renovation of a house in Baltimore City.”
“Our elected officials must place the interests of the citizens above their own,” U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said in a statement. “Corrupt public employees rip off the taxpayers and undermine everyone’s faith in government.”
Who knew that when Pugh famously was captured on video saying she could “smell the rats” in her own city, that she’d actually be talking about herself?
RELATED: More Corruption In Baltimore! Mayor Takes Leave Of Absence After Pay To Play Scheme Exposed!
Trump Spotted the Rats
Earlier this year, President Trump found himself in hot water when he blasted the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore congressional district, accurately describing it as “a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess.”
After complaining about the rat problem previously, Pugh said of the uninhabited areas in her city, “We should just take all this s*** down.”
Now, she has potentially been taken down.
Pugh initially denied the charges levied against her calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”
She later apologized as part of her resignation letter, lamenting the “harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor.”