Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh had better hope she set aside a lot of that Healthy Holly book money she scammed during her time in office, because the sentencing portion of this case is predicted to include some massive fines. At the same time, mysteries remain about whether and to what extent she’s cooperating with prosecutors as part of the bargain they struck. Some of that information is still sealed and is expected to stay that way indefinitely. (CBS Baltimore)

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh may have to pay more than one million dollars in penalties in addition to other monies to the federal government in the ‘Healthy Holly’ book scheme that brought down her political career.

Judge Deborah Chasanow warned Pugh against making any comments before sentencing that go against the tax evasion and conspiracy charges to which Pugh pleaded guilty on Thursday.

There is a one million dollar maximum penalty for just one count in the guilty plea: conspiracy to commit wire fraud

Federal prosecutors have come to no agreement with Pugh about what she may have to give up—although they want Pugh to forfeit her house in Ashburton—where friends held a prayer vigil on the eve of her resignation in May.

Before getting to the mystery, it seems that Pugh has admitted to some really bad behavior as part of the guilty plea. In one instance, as local news reported, she took books that were supposed to be donated to a children’s hospital and sold them to a Chicago investment firm.

The feds are also looking to confiscate her fancy house in Ashburton. Why? Because – and I know you’ll be shocked to hear this – the house was apparently paid for with what’s being described as “an illicit six-figure check from a well-connected business leader.”

Getting back to the mystery mentioned above, when the plea deal with Pugh was announced, there was also a sealed supplement. It’s expected that this means that Pugh has agreed to cooperate with other aspects of the investigation, potentially bringing in more people who have been self-dealing their way to fortune.

But we won’t find out about that. Whatever is in the supplement will remain under wraps. As the Baltimore Sun explains, that’s because of Baltimore’s famous “stop snitching” culture. Cooperating suspects and witnesses are so frequently targeted, including firebombings and shootings in broad daylight, that it was hard to get anyone to testify. Public filings would reveal the names of other people involved, possibly leading to their death.

So the city began attaching sealed supplements to every case, leaving the gangs to wonder if anyone was cooperating or not. So while it’s possible that Pugh is helping prosecutors, it’s also just as likely that the supplement is empty.

Catherine Pugh managed to pocket a lot of money through having been the Mayor of Baltimore. Now the payment is coming due, and it sounds like she may not even have a home to come back to when she gets out of prison. Perhaps that’s what justice looks like in the end.