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Former Baltimore City mayor Catherine Pugh sentenced to three years in federal prison as feds say she used ‘Any means necessary to win’ 2016 Baltimore mayor’s race, including peddling books she never wrote

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Catherine Pugh 6Former Baltimore City mayor Catherine Pugh [center], was sentenced to three years in federal prison Thursday for a fraud scheme involving a children’s book series. She pled guilty to four felony counts of conspiracy and tax evasion

As federal prosecutors laid out what they described as a “shocking” corruption case against former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, they ticked off a list of victims.
Buyers who paid for her self-published children’s books that were never printed.
Schoolchildren who never received copies. The federal government, which Pugh shorted of thousands of tax dollars.
But there was another, bigger victim in the background: The voters of Baltimore.
That’s because the “Healthy Holly scam,” as prosecutors called it, wasn’t just a yearslong self-enrichment scheme. It also was a way for Pugh to try to illegally influence an election and achieve her dream job as the 50th mayor of Baltimore, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Pugh used the books as promotional materials during her 2016 mayoral run and the proceeds from their sale to pump illegal money into her campaign, prosecutors said. She was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison after pleading guilty to four felony counts of conspiracy and tax evasion.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Clarke told the court that Pugh engaged in “election fraud” in a race she narrowly won against a crowded primary field. With her expenditures exceeding $2.5 million during the campaign, Pugh easily outspent most of her rivals.
However she did so, in part, by using illegal proceeds from “Healthy Holly” book sales, prosecutors say.

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