Bigshot Dem gets 'nearly 5 year' sentence recommendation from fed prosecutors for 'broad range of criminal acts' that dwarf Stone's

Eat your heart out, Roger Stone.  A very prominent Democrat, Catherine E. Pugh — former mayor of Baltimore and majority leader of the Maryland State Senate — is getting a sentence recommendation a bit more than half of what you got at the hands of DOJ prosecutors for a range of crimes that dwarf anything of which you were accused.

Catherine Pugh.
Photo credit: Bruce Emmerling.

Justin Fenton and Kevin Rector of the Baltimore Sun report:

Federal prosecutors laid out an array of new details from their investigation into former Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh in documents filed Thursday, as they argued she should receive nearly five years in prison for conspiracy and tax evasion. (snip)

"The chronology of events since 2011, comprising Pugh's seven-year scheme to defraud, multiple years of tax evasion, election fraud, and attempted cover-ups, including brazen lies to the public, clearly establishes the deliberateness with which she pursued financial and political gain without a second thought about how it was harming the public's trust," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martin J. Clarke and Leo J. Wise.

"It was not rash behavior," they wrote. "Rather, it was a recurring pattern of well-executed steps that built on each other, becoming more audacious and complex leading up to the mayoral election."

Pugh's crime spree covered her time as mayor and as majority leader of the state Senate.  She "sold" copies of her children's book to both businesses and nonprofit organizations, though it is obvious that many did not take delivery of anything in return for the checks.

Prosecutors said Thursday that Pugh's "personal inventory" of Healthy Holly books never exceeded 8,216 copies. But through a "three-dimensional" scheme, they say, she was able to resell 132,116 copies for a total of $859,960. She gave another 34,846 copies away.

"Corporate book purchasers with an interest in obtaining or maintaining a government contract represented 93.6% of all Healthy Holly books or $805,000," prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also noted Pugh did not disclose her financial interests while in the Senate before becoming mayor, as required by Maryland law. After The Baltimore Sun reported in March that Pugh did not disclose her $500,000 business relationship with the University of Maryland Medical System while on its volunteer board, she amended seven years of reports to the state ethics commission.

Pugh also sold books to big city contract holders, including Kaiser Permanente and Associated Black Charities, the Sun revealed.

Even though federal sentence recommendations are a hot topic, the news of Pugh's sentence recommendation did not make the New York Times or many other newspapers or televisions outlets beyond the Washington-Baltimore area.  The New York Times did not find it news fit to print.

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