Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby denies federal charges over her finances
Marilyn Mosby is maintaining her innocence a day after a federal indictment was filed, accusing the Baltimore state's attorney of perjury and other crimes.
On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland announced a federal grand jury had indicted Mosby, 41, on four federal charges of perjury and making false mortgage applications relating to the purchases of two vacation homes in Florida.
"I am innocent of the charges that have been levied against me and I intend to fight with every ounce in my being," Mosby said as she read from a prepared statement in downtown Baltimore on Friday. She didn't take questions from reporters.
The indictment is likely going to be a major shadow on Mosby's career. These charges come as she seeks a third term as Baltimore State's Attorney.
She aligned herself with criminal justice reform advocates early in her time in Baltimore's top prosecutorial office and reached national prominence in 2015 in the criminal case against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
Gray, a Black man, died a week after being taken into custody. His death triggered demonstrations against police brutality. None of those officers was convicted.
Mosby said the federal investigation is retribution for the Gray case as well as other reform policies she's pursued during her tenure in the city.
"Ever since I walked down the steps of the war memorial on May 1, announced charges against six police officers in the killing of Freddie Gray, I have had a target on my back," she said. "I've used my power and my discretion to do things that a lot of people in this country just don't like."
She went on to say, "Our differences in policies and governing should not make any of us subject to unreasonable and unyielding abusive attacks, investigation and prosecution."
Mosby's attorney A. Scott Bolden didn't respond to NPR's request for a comment.
Prosecutors say Mosby lied in vacation home transactions
Mosby lied about meeting certain qualifications in order to withdraw large sums of money from her city retirement plan, according to federal prosecutors. Mosby claimed she qualified under a coronavirus-relief program in 2020 in order to take that money out.
But that CARES Act program was meant for people struggling financially, which prosecutors say Mosby and her family were not. The indictment states Mosby's gross salary that year was nearly $250,000 and was never reduced due to the pandemic.
Prosecutors say Mosby then used the money for a down payment on a vacation home in Kissimmee, Fla. Further, prosecutors allege, Mosby also lied on application forms for mortgages to purchase the home in Kissimmee as well as a condominium in Long Boat Key, Fla.
Mosby allegedly failed to disclose on either mortgage application for those properties that she had unpaid federal taxes from previous years, as required. Prosecutors say she also failed to state that the IRS placed a more than $45,000 lien on all property belonging to Mosby, and her husband, Nick Mosby. Her husband, who is the Baltimore City Council President, is not facing any charges.
Mosby said on Friday that she didn't defraud or lie to anyone while taking a withdrawal from her retirement account or in signing her mortgage applications.
"Prior to yesterday's indictment, I offered to prove my innocence by making myself available to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury," she said. "But the U. S. Attorney and the lead prosecutor in the case who has donated to my political opponents and who has personal animus towards me, has refused to allow me to do so."
Mosby has been under scrutiny for some time
The indictment comes months after reports surfaced that federal officials subpoenaed the Maryland State Board of Elections seeking business and campaign finance records related to Marilyn and Nick Mosby dating back to 2014, according to the Associated Press.
In February 2021, Baltimore's Office of the Inspector General completed a months-long investigation into Mosby's travel as a city official, as well as gifts received, and her personal businesses. This report didn't make a determination, as it's not in the OIG's purview, on whether Mosby violated any ethics rules or disclosure requirements.
In November, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, citing a wave of violent crime in the city, announced a review of state funds provided to the Baltimore State's Attorney's office. Hogan accused Mosby's office of not doing enough to prosecute certain crimes — a claim Mosby denied.
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.