Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Accused of Wire Fraud, Tax Evasion

Former Baltimore Mayor Indicted on Wire Fraud and Tax-Related Charges in Children’s Book Scheme

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Former Baltimore mayor Catherine E. Pugh, 69, has been accused of running a scheme involving her self-published children’s books to boost her career and aid her campaign.

Federal charges made public Wednesday accused Pugh of defrauding customers of Healthy Holly books, a company she owned, for her personal and political gain.

Pugh allegedly ripped off non-profit organizations and taxpayers by receiving payments for tens of thousands of books that she never intended to deliver. According to the federal charges records, Pugh used the money to fund her mayoral run and to buy and renovate a house in Baltimore.

Prosecutors said the former mayor evaded taxes on the income she received from the sales. In 2016, she is accused of claiming her income was $31,020 and the taxes due was $4,168, but the real income was $322,365, which would have been taxed $102,444.

Pugh resigned as mayor in May and is scheduled to appear on court Thursday.