Former Democratic Baltimore Mayor Pleads Guilty in Her Tax Evasion Case

Catherine E. Pugh, the 69-year-old former Democratic mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday in her criminal case.

She admitted to conspiracy, and tax evasion, according to FOX Baltimore.

Federal records reviewed by Law&Crime show that she surrendered her passport. Pugh, who served as Baltimore mayor until an FBI raid and Children’s book scandal led to her resignation, faced an 11-count indictment for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and tax evasion.

Co-defendant Gary Brown Jr., a 38-year-old former Baltimore City employee, pleaded guilty on Nov. 13 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, filing a false tax return, and two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States, authorities said. Former city employee Roslyn Wedington, 50, admitted to conspiracy to defraud the United States, and five counts of filing a false tax return.

When the indictment was announced, prosecutors said Pugh attempted to defraud book purchasers, and fund her mayoral campaign. The defendant also tried to evade taxes for money earned from the books. Per the Department of Justice:

The indictment alleges that to accomplish this, Pugh concealed from the IRS the fact that she created false business expenses to offset the income she received from the sale of books by issuing Healthy Holly checks to Brown for services and/or products purportedly supplied by his company.  Pugh allegedly filed false income tax returns for 2016 and 2015, in which she underreported her income.  For example, the indictment alleges that for tax year 2016 Pugh claimed her taxable income was $31,020 and the tax due was $4,168, when in fact, Pugh’s taxable income was $322,365, with an income tax due of approximately $102,444.

[Screengrab via VOA News]

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