Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has been indicted on federal fraud charges. Authorities allege that she lied about financial transactions in order to purchase real estate in Florida.
She says she is innocent and that this is all a "distraction."
According to the indictment obtained by the Atlanta Black Star, Mosby has been charged by a federal grand jury with two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements to the bank in order to receive money for two properties in Florida, one on the Gulf Coast and the other in Orlando.
The charge states that the city's attorney lied about experiencing financial hardships after the world shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Prosecutors believe she used this excuse to receive two early withdrawals totaling $81,000 from her 457(b) retirement savings to buy both homes.
The indictment says in May 2020, she received $36,000 and in December 2020, she received $45,000.
One of the homes is a condominium located on the Gulf of Mexico. The other is an eight-bedroom home near a popular resort.
The Baltimore Sun states that "early withdrawals were permitted under the federal CARES act for people who suffered financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic."
The Department of Justice maintains Mosby declarations of hardship were not true, noting that she received a $10,000 raise in 2020, bumping her salary up to $ $247,955.58.
The indictment further alleges that the 41-year-old falsified information on a mortgage loan application in an effort to downplay federal tax debt and was dishonest about the purpose of the Kissimmee property.
The claim is that she purchased the home near Disney World as a rental, despite receiving a lower interest rate contingent on the promise to the bank that she would not rent the property.
The doc asserts that Mosby entered into an agreement with a vacation home management company to rent out the house before the investigation.
Since the investigation started, Mosby has sold the property in question at a $150,000 profit.
According to the Osceola County Florida Clerk of Courts, she sold it for $696,000 on Nov. 2, 2021. This house flip is almost 30 percent more than the $545,000, the price she paid for it in September 2020.
In her first appearance since being indicted, the two-term Baltimore state's attorney said, "I wanted the people of Baltimore to hear it from me: I've done nothing wrong. I did not defraud anyone to take money from my retirement savings. I did not lie on my mortgage application."
"Don't be fooled. We are now five months from my next election, and this indictment is merely a political ploy by my political adversaries to unseat me," she continued. "Please understand. I will never let that happen without a fight."
While maintaining her innocence, she detailed her work during her tenure in office and how she has modeled herself as a progressive criminal justice reform agent in the city. She noted the political backlash she withstood, after she charged six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, saying she won't be "distracted" from doing her work.
"I am innocent, and I intend to do what I've always done since becoming state's attorney in the city I love: Fight. I will fight these charges with everything I have in me. I'm built for this, and I will not be distracted from doing my job," she said.
The investigation into Mosby started in March 2021 when federal prosecutors subpoenaed Mosby and her husband, City Council President Nick Mosby, and asked the couple to turn over financial records. The indictment cleared the councilman of wrongdoing, but not his wife.
Her attorney, A. Scott Bolden, says that this is "rooted in personal, political and racial animus." While she has not declared that she will run for another term, this news could damage a campaign for a June primary election just five months away.
In addition to suggesting this is a political distraction, Bolden accused the DOJ of ignoring exculpatory evidence their team has provided to support his client.
If convicted, Mosby could face a maximum of 70 years in prison. Both perjury counts could hold up to five years apiece and the two charges of making a false statement have a maximum sentence of 30 years per count.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore declined to remark on the indictment.
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