The new federal indictment accusing Baltimore’s top prosecutor of committing perjury and making false statements on a COVID-19 loan application is the culmination of a failed investigation that was partially rooted in racism from political operatives desperate to make any charges stick, an attorney representing Marilyn Mosby suggested while responding to the allegations.
Mosby, the 41-year-old Baltimore State’s Attorney, was on Thursday hit with four felony counts related to allegations centered on a withdrawal from her own retirement fund in 2020. The exact language of the indictment alleges that Mosby “willfully and knowingly” lied about experiencing “adverse financial consequences stemming from the Coronavirus” and that she intentionally lied on a loan application because she was in arrears to the IRS.
Specifically, Mosby is accused of taking out $40,000 from her 401K because she had a financial hardship because of the pandemic. The Baltimore Sun reported that Mosby earned a $10,000 pay raise that year for an annual salary of $248,000. After she got $36,000, Mosby used it for a down payment on a property in Florida that she said would be a second home in an effort to lower interest rates, the indictment claims.
But Mosby’s lawyer responded to the indictment on Thursday by claiming his client is not guilty of any of the charges and said the federal investigation fell well short of its intended target. He also repeated claims that the indictment was the result of a political witch hunt.
“I remain confident that once all the evidence is presented, that [Mosby] will prevail against these bogus charges — charges that are rooted in personal, political and racial animus five months from her election,” attorney A. Scott Bolden said in part.
Bolden did not expound on the “racial” element. Mosby’s indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney of Maryland Erek L. Barron, the state’s first Black lead federal prosecutor who, like Mosby, is a Democrat.
Bolden added later that the charges are “more telling for what is not in the indictment, rather than what is in there.” He said the indictment “in connection to her borrowing from her own 401K and borrowing to purchase her home(s) is a far cry from criminal tax evasion and related charges that were at the heart of this federal investigation.”
Mosby “never lied” about any of that, Bolden continued, and said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland — which is overseeing the case — was not forthcoming in its investigation because “they conspired to wrongfully indict my client on non-tax related charges.”
Bolden went on to suggest that such a criminal investigation meant the feds “were not interested in the truth or exculpatory evidence or justice, but rather only concerned with obtaining an indictment and bringing false charges … at all or any costs.”
The federal investigation began last year and was initially focused on Mosby and her husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, for potential campaign finance violations. At the time back in March of 2021, it was reported that subpoenas were being issued for the couple’s financial information and an investigation into their alleged link to city churches.
In particular, Union Baptist Church in Baltimore was subpoenaed and its lawyer said at the time that investigators wanted to know how much money the Mosbys give to the house of worship.
“I spend more monthly at Starbucks than the Mosby’s gave during the time period,” said Robert Fulton Dashiell, the attorney representing the Mosbys back then, adding that the total was less than $200.
Around the same time, an independent news outlet called Baltimore Brew published a report claiming state’s attorney Mosby “paid $11,000 to a Washington law firm that acted on [her] personal behalf, which is a prohibited practice under Maryland election law.”
It remains unclear if that report was associated with the federal investigation that resulted in Mosby’s indictment this week.
There have been a number of previous instances where the Mosbys found their actions under heightened scrutiny, including suspicions of campaign finance violations when it came to receiving gifts, paying taxes and traveling, for example. However, none of the accusations have ever been proven.
Mosby first rose to national prominence during the uproar over the in-custody death of Freddie Gray, a Black man who was arrested in Baltimore for possession of a penknife in 2015. He died in transport under questionable circumstances. Mosby called for the indictment of six city cops but ultimately dropped the charges against the remaining three officers involved. Mosby faced tough criticism after the three other officers involved were found not guilty.
Mosby called for system reform after the failure to find any criminal involvement in Gray’s death.
“We know that Freddie Gray did not kill himself,” she said at the time and stood by the medical examiner’s determination his death was a homicide.
Gray’s stepfather said he was upset about the case’s outcome but still thanked Mosby and said he was “proud” to have her represent the case.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.