Former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for fraud and tax evasion schemes.
On Thursday, the former Baltimore mayor was sentenced to three years by the U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow for fraud and tax evasion schemes involving bogus sales of her children’s book series to surrender no later than April 13.
“This could not have come at a worse time for the city,” the judge said in an apparent reference to Baltimore’s struggle to overcome its dark history of government kickbacks, police corruption and steep murder rate.
“It is astounding. This was not a tiny mistake; this became a very large fraud,” the judge said in an emotion-choked voice.
According to Reuters, Pugh, who turns 70 next week, pleaded guilty in November to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy. She faced a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.
She admitted fraudulent sales of her series of self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s books, pulling in roughly $650,000 while failing to deliver the goods to public schools. She used the ill-gotten gains to buy and renovate a second home in Baltimore, prosecutors said.