Illustration for article titled Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison Over Childrens Book Scandal
Image: AP

Last May, former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh resigned from her position after news broke that she arranged for local nonprofits to buy a ridiculous number of her self-published Healthy Holly: Exercising is Fun children’s books, in order to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks. (According to the Baltimore Sun, Pugh struck a deal with the University of Maryland Medical System to spend $500,000 on 100,000 copies of her book—all while she sat on the board.) She was charged with 11 counts of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy in November, and pleaded guilty soon after. As of Thursday, Pugh has been sentenced to three years in prison and three years of parole, CNN reports, after having made more than $800,000 from fraudulent sales. She was also ordered to pay $411,948 in restitution and to forfeit $669,688, as well as $17,800 from her Committee to Re-elect Catherine Pugh.

According to NBC, Pugh used the money from those bulk book sales to fund her campaign as well as enrich herself—including the purchase and renovation of a new house.

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“Sometimes when you think you’re doing one thing, as my mother used to say, ‘It’s not what you intend to do, it is what you do,’” Pugh said in court. “And all of us pay the price for the things that don’t turn out the way that they should turn out... I just want to apologize to the citizens, to young people, to partners, my friends—everyone I’ve offended, everyone I’ve hurt and the city’s image, by pleading guilty and being a part of all of this that had led me here today.”

And—in case you were curious—a used copy of Healthy Holly: Exercising is Fun currently goes for $32,924.03 on Amazon. That’s up $32,724.04 from November.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS, is out 7/21/20.

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