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Former Mayor Catherine Pugh en route to Alabama to report to prison Friday

Former Mayor Catherine Pugh will report to an Alabama prison on Friday to begin serving her sentence, her attorney confirmed.

Pugh was already en route Thursday to the federal correctional institution in Aliceville, said attorney Andrew White. Pugh was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to federal fraud charges related to the “Healthy Holly” children’s book scandal.

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Last week, Pugh also pleaded guilty to state-level perjury charges for not disclosing income from the books on financial disclosure forms. She will not have to serve additional time for that case.

Pugh’s downfall began last year when The Baltimore Sun revealed she had entered into a no-bid deal with the University of Maryland Medical System, where Pugh sat on the board of directors, to buy 100,000 copies of her sloppily self-published “Healthy Holly” books for $500,000. She later resigned from that board and from her position as mayor amid multiple investigations into her finances and the book sales. In total, she netted more than $850,000, federal prosecutors say.

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At the same time, she failed to print thousands of copies, double-sold thousands more and took many others to use for self-promotion, according to prosecutors. Investigators also asserted that she laundered illegal campaign contributions and failed to pay taxes.

Pugh could petition to be released early based on coronavirus concerns or under the First Step Act, but would still have to serve some portion of the sentence. Convicted former state Sen. Nathaniel Oaks was released this week to serve out the rest of his sentence on home confinement.

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