Baltimore’s top prosecutor, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, was indicted on Jan. 13 on federal charges of perjury and filing false mortgage applications related to her purchase of two Florida vacation homes.
The 41-year-old Democrat was elected to her post in 2015. She is being accused of falsely claiming twice to have suffered a work-related financial hardship from the covid-19 pandemic to request early withdrawals from her city employee retirement account. The amounts totaled $90,000.
According to the indictment, Mosby fraudulently cited a federal CARES Act provision that permits for emergency withdrawals of up to $100,000 from her retirement plan in case of a furlough, layoff, quarantine, reduced work hours, lack of childcare, or impact on one’s own business caused by covid-19, Reuters reported. She received $36,000 in May 2020 and $45,000 on Dec. 31, 2020.
Prosecutors charge that Mosby used the money she received for down payments on vacation homes in Kissimmee, Florida, and Long Boat Key, Florida.
The two counts of perjury are from Mosby’s false statements of coronavirus-related financial duress. However, at the time, she was earning a gross annual salary of nearly $248,000, the indictment stated.
On top of this, Mosby is charged with two counts of making false statements on mortgage applications seeking a total of more than $900,000 in loans to purchase the two Florida properties. Mosby failed to disclose as required on both mortgage applications that she and her husband were delinquent in federal tax payments resulting in a $45,000 tax lien filed against them by the Internal Revenue Service in 2020, Reuters reported.
If convicted, she could face up to five years for each of two perjury counts as well as decades in prison on charges of making false mortgage applications, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland.
Some on Twitter came out in support of Mosby.
“This is b.s.. How many people take a loan against their retirement for down payments on a house? They were looking to get her on any little thing to get her out of that job. She should fight this all the way & sue the us atty,” tweeted 7upPoundCake (@SatweetWhat).
Criminal reporter Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun pointed out, however, that Mosby’s withdrawals might have been a tax avoidance tactic. He tweeted, “It was to withdraw funds from a retirement account without tax penalty”.
“Stand your ground @MarilynMosbyEsq The weapon has formed but it won’t prosper,” tweeted Vonnie932 (@Vonnie932Stand) in support of Mosby.
In 2015, Mosby charged six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man. Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while being transported without a seatbelt in a police van. None of the six officers charged in his death was convicted.
Some on Twitter called the indictment frivolous and said it was government payback for Mosby’s prosecution of police over Gray’s death.
“retaliation for her prosecution of police on Freddie Gray case. What a frivolous case against her,” tweeted Brian Keith (@BrianKeithSEA)
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Photo: Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby speaks at a news conference in Baltimore, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
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