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Home / US / Baltimore's former Mayor, Catherine E. Pugh, was charged with wire fraud and tax evasion in financial transactions for her Healthy Holly books

Baltimore's former Mayor, Catherine E. Pugh, was charged with wire fraud and tax evasion in financial transactions for her Healthy Holly books



69-year-old Pugh was the second mayor of Baltimore to resign in the last decade despite being accused of corruption. The indictment accuses her of a year-long procedure from the year 2007.

US Attorney Robert K. Hur in Maryland, along with high-ranking officials from the FBI and the IRS, is scheduled to discuss the indictment on Wednesday's morning briefing. The lawsuit comes after the city hall of Baltimore, Pugh's Houses, and a charitable organization affiliated with it were searched in April.

Federal agents searched for financial documents and other information related to nearly $ 800,000 for which they allegedly had paid the books, a tremendous amount in the world of children's literature. According to the prosecution, Pugh is expected to meet the US Marshals before a court hearing.

Baltimore's two former employees, Gary Brown Jr. (38) and Roslyn Wedington (50), have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to have cheated the US and filed counterfeit tax returns, the prosecutor said in a statement.

"The people of Maryland expect elected officials to make decisions based on the good of the public, and not abuse their office for personal gain," said Jennifer Boone, who specializes in Baltimore's special affairs. The FBI's office was one Explanation known.

Pugh, a former federal state legislator, was elected mayor in 201

6. Their downfall baffled friends and supporters and was another blow to the city struggling with continued violence and violence. The riots of 2015 following the death of Freddie Gray due to a police custody violation have plunged the city.

Last week, the city recorded its 300th murder for the fifth time in a row. The grim numbers threaten to leave Baltimore again with the highest or near-highest murder rate in the country. State and federal investigators began to investigate payments to Pugh from facilities such as the University of Maryland Medical System for Holly Book Collection, which follows an African-American woman, Holly, and aims to promote a healthy lifestyle.

In March, the Baltimore Sun reported for the first time that Pugh received $ 500,000 in 2011 for a total of 100,000 books as it served on a Senate committee that partially funded the private hospital network – and its board. Pugh resigned from the board where she had served for 18 years. She returned $ 100,000 for a shipment of books that she said had not been completed.

The Sun also said that Kaiser Permanente Pugh paid more than $ 100,000 for the book while she requested a $ 48 million contract from a US government-controlled city council.

Pugh was hospitalized for five days with pneumonia at the end of March and was given an indefinite leave on April 1.

Long-time city council president Bernard C. "Jack" Young was raised to the acting mayor when Pugh was on leave and since her resignation mayor. Young plans to run for mayor in the 2020 elections.

In addition to Pugh's apartments and his office, agents ransacked the home of Gary Brown Jr., a former top adjutant to Pugh. Brown and Pugh have relationships with the charitable Maryland Center for Adult Training, which was also searched in the spring.

Pugh previously headed the center's executive board, and Brown was listed as executive director of the program during the fiscal year. The workforce training program received city contracts during Pugh's term as mayor, according to Sun.

Even before the indictment became public, revelations about contracts for the medical system of board members prompted the General Assembly to take action. The state legislator ordered an examination of the medical system with a report to submit to the legislature by December 15.

However, the auditors filed an extension to March 13, 2020 last month stating that UMMS "delayed or hindered our work by repeatedly failing." The renewal was made on November 7 by Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr (D-Calvert) and Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County).

A statement from the system stated that the audit required "countless hours of work and the creation of many thousands of documents by UMMS." The auditors were on site for six months and "we have always strived to work together and be transparent with them". said John Ashworth, Interim President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System.

Rachel Chason contributed to this report


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