News

Law & the Courts

Former Baltimore Mayor Charged with Fraud, Faces up to 20 Years in Prison

Then-state senator Catherine Pugh speaks during a TV interview near the City Hall in Baltimore, Md., in 2015. (File photo: Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters)

Former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh was indicted on Tuesday on multiple federal charges, including fraud and tax evasion.

In March, federal authorities began investigating allegations that Pugh made $500,000 from selling her children’s book Healthy Holly to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) while she was serving on the UMMS board. It was then revealed that health-insurance provider Kaiser Permanente had paid Pugh $100,000 for 20,000 copies of the book, at the same time the company was seeking a contract to insure city employees.

FBI and IRS agents raided Pugh’s home in April as part of their investigation into the former mayor’s dealings. Pugh resigned as mayor on May 2.

Pugh will be arraigned on Thursday in Washington, D.C., district court. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted.

The indictment details how Pugh allegedly used the “proceeds of the sale of fraudulently obtained Healthy Holly books for her own purposes, including: to fund straw donations to Pugh’s mayoral election campaign; and to fund the purchase and renovation of a house in Baltimore City.” The books themselves were poorly published and contained numerous spelling and grammatical errors, including spelling the word “vegetable” as “vegetale.”

“The people of Maryland expect elected officials to make decisions based on the public’s best interests, not to abuse their office for personal gain,” read a statement from FBI special agent Jennifer Boone, who runs the agency’s Baltimore division. “The indictment alleges that Catherine Pugh betrayed the public’s trust.”

Pugh had originally called the investigation a “witch hunt” but apologized in her letter of resignation for the “harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More
Elections

The Man Who Wasn’t There

At first glance, Joe Biden’s strategy of avoiding the spotlight is paying off. He maintains his consistent lead over Donald Trump in national polls. In June, in the aftermath of the Lafayette Park fiasco, his advantage in the RealClearPolitics average expanded to ten points. The critical swing states of ... Read More
Elections

The Man Who Wasn’t There

At first glance, Joe Biden’s strategy of avoiding the spotlight is paying off. He maintains his consistent lead over Donald Trump in national polls. In June, in the aftermath of the Lafayette Park fiasco, his advantage in the RealClearPolitics average expanded to ten points. The critical swing states of ... Read More
Economy & Business

What’s an ‘American’ Car?

I’m not too sure about Dmitri’s ode to American cars, because I am not too sure what is an American car. In what sense should a Jeep Compass manufactured in Mexico be thought of as American while a Mercedes GLE made in Alabama isn’t? The answer cannot be corporate ownership: Both companies have ... Read More
Economy & Business

What’s an ‘American’ Car?

I’m not too sure about Dmitri’s ode to American cars, because I am not too sure what is an American car. In what sense should a Jeep Compass manufactured in Mexico be thought of as American while a Mercedes GLE made in Alabama isn’t? The answer cannot be corporate ownership: Both companies have ... Read More