Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of conspiracy and tax evasion tied to sales of her self-published children's book.
Pugh, who resigned in May, said nothing after her court appearance.
Federal prosecutor Robert Hur said her admission of guilt "demonstrated that she betrayed the trust placed on her."
Prosecutors say Pugh accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the University of Maryland Medical System for copies of her book about the adventures of a character named Healthy Holly.
The books were supposed to be sent to schools and day care centers, but most copies were left inside a city warehouse.
Prosecutors say she used the proceeds for her mayoral campaign and to make improvements on her house.
Pugh faces up to 35 years in prison when she is sentenced in February. Hur said she will probably get no more than five years.