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State file new charges against former mayor in book scandal

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Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh

Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton Howard announces that the Office of the State Prosecutor has charged ex-Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh with perjury for her failure to disclose her business interest in Healthy Holly, LLC on her financial disclosures during her services as a Maryland State Senator.

 

The charging documents, filed in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, allege that Pugh, while serving as a State Senator for the 40th District of Maryland, was required to disclose her interests in any limited liability company and any businesses entities from which she earned income throughout her tenure in the Senate. The charges allege that while Pugh did disclose her business relationship to other companies that she owned or operated, she did not disclose her interest in Healthy Holly, LLC.  

 

Specifically, the charges allege Pugh earned at least $345,000 in income in 2016 through sales of her Healthy Holly books, yet failed to disclose her ownership of Healthy Holly, LLC on her financial disclosure forms.

 

Financial disclosure forms required of elected representatives and certain State employees are filed with the Maryland State Ethics Commission and signed under the penalties of perjury.

 

“Transparency from our elected officials is an essential aspect of protecting Maryland residents from corruption and political malfeasance,” said Howard.  “Our office is committed to ensuring that those who abuse positions of trust in our state and local governments are held accountable by the State of Maryland.”

 

Please click HERE to view a copy of the charging documents.

 

Last month, Pugh pleaded guilty to four of eleven federal counts of corruption—including fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and two counts of tax evasion. 

 

Former Baltimore City employees Gary Brown, Jr., age 38, of Baltimore, and Roslyn Wedington, age 50, of Rosedale, Maryland, also pleaded guilty in the case.

 

On November 13, 2019, Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, to two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and to filing a false tax return.  That same day, Wedington pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and to five counts of filing a false tax return.

 

Pugh, 69, will be sentenced on the federal charges February 27.  The Baltimore Sun reports the maximum sentence for the charges she pleaded guilty to is 35 years in prison, but the sentencing guidelines agreed to by prosecutors and Pugh's attorneys put the suggested sentence in the range of five years in prison.