Baltimore Sun : 2020-02-14

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FRONT PAGE

Price $2. Our 183rd year, No. 45 Friday, February 14, 2020 baltimores­un.com Feds: Boutique co-owned with comptrolle­r hid contributi­ons Prosecutor­s argue ex-mayor should do time for fraud By Talia Richman By Justin Fenton and Kevin Rector ited a $20,000 contributi­on from city contractor J.P. Grant. The well-connected financier already had contribute­d the maximum allowed under the law —$6,000 — to Pugh’s campaign for that election cycle. So, prosecutor­s say, Pugh asked Grant to write a check to 2 Chic Boutique. He did, but had his wife sign it “because it would draw less scrutiny coming from a woman,” the document stated. Pugh “laundered” that money through the shop, prosecutor­s say, using it both to make straw donations to her campaign and to cover expenses at the near-broke 2 Chic. The shop’s partners then filed a came to her house to seize her cellphone. It also raised further questions regarding the roles of city Comptrolle­r Joan Pratt, who co-owned a business with Pugh that prosecutor­s say was used to launder an illegal campaign contributi­on and which filed a false tax return, and of a major city contractor who wrote out a check to that business in addition to buying Pugh’s books. “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, Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh didn’t only use Healthy Holly LLC as a conduit for illegal contributi­ons to her 2016 mayoral campaign, according to a sentencing memorandum prosecutor­s filed Thursday in federal court in Baltimore. She also arranged for money to flow through another side business, 2 Chic Boutique, a Pigtown consignmen­t shop she co-owned with longtime City Comptrolle­r Joan Pratt and two other women with ties to city government. In the memo, filed ahead of Pugh’s Feb. 27 sentencing, prosecutor­s outlined how Pugh solic- 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. The blistering, 37-page sentencing memorandum, accompanie­d by financial records and copies of checks, for the first time pinpointed the number of “Healthy Holly” children’s books Pugh sold — and resold. It outlined her efforts to conceal her dealings, including lying to FBI agents who See page 7 See page 7 BOUTIQUE, PUGH, PICTURING MARYLAND Harvey Weinstein’s trial Coronaviru­s fallout General Assembly and education Defense lawyer tells jurors that prosecutor­s in former film producer’s rape case were acting like moviemaker­s, creating a world where “women are not responsibl­e” for how they interact with men. China’s leader ousts two top Communist Party officials from the province at the center of the epidemic, exacting political punishment for the handling of a crisis that seems far from under control. NEWS PG 9 NEWS PG 4 NEWS PG 2 INSIDE Business Comics Lottery NEWS On TV TODAY’S WEATHER SPORTS10 WKND 22 4 WKND 20 Classified Horoscopes Obituaries Opinion Bridge SPORTS 6 SPORTS 9 NEWS 8 NEWS10 SPORTS 6

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