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Local News

Pugh to appear in Federal Court Thursday, expected to enter plea

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(Center) U.S. Attorney/Maryland, Robert Hur

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is expected in federal court at 1 o’clock Thursday afternoon for arraignment following yesterday’s unsealed 11-count indictment accusing her of government corruption.

The grand jury indictment was released Wednesday and claims Pugh defrauded local businesses and nonprofit groups with about $800,000 in sales of her "Healthy Holly" books to enrich her, promote her political career and fund her campaign.  It also claims she double-sold her books and used the profits from her book sales to buy a house, pay down debt and make illegal donations to her campaign.  While doing all this, U.S. Attorney Robert Hur says the indictment alleges that Pugh evaded taxes, shorting the federal government about 100-thousand-dollars.  Pugh faces up to175 years in prison.

Two of her former aides, Gary Brown Jr. and Roslyn Wedington have already pleaded guilty in the “complex” case that been under federal investigation for three years by several agencies (the FBI and the IRS Criminal Division, the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations - Labor Racketeering and Fraud, the Maryland State Prosecutor’s Office, and the Baltimore City Office of Inspector General).

Brown faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud conspiracy.  Brown and Wedington each face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and three years in prison for each count of filing a false tax return. A sentencing date for both has not yet scheduled sentencing for Brown or Wedington.