Baltimore’s former top prosecutor is facing a decade in prison after being found guilty of committing perjury by making false statements on a COVID-19 loan application during the pandemic.
A jury delivered the verdict on Thursday and found former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby guilty of two counts, with each count carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison. However, the New York Times reported that “typically sentences are far below the maximum.”
The jury deliberated for just five hours following a three-day trial.
Mosby, 43, was originally hit with four felony counts last year related to allegations centered on a withdrawal from her own retirement fund in 2020. The exact language of the indictment alleged 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 was accused of taking out $40,000 from her 401K because she had a financial hardship caused by the pandemic. The Baltimore Sun reported at the time that Mosby earned a $10,000 pay raise that year to bring her annual salary up to $248,000. After she withdrew $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.
Mosby still faces two federal mortgage fraud charges that a judge made separate from the perjury trial.
Andrew I. Alperstein, a defense attorney and former prosecutor, told the Baltimore Sun that the mortgage fraud charges give the feds “a stronger case” than the perjury trial, which has not been scheduled yet.
Federal mortgage fraud convictions carry up to 10 years in prison on each count. If she is also convicted of those charges, Mosby would be looking at a total of 30 years in prison.
Sentencing in the perjury trial was not immediately scheduled.
Thursday’s conviction likely means Mosby will lose her law license.
Mosby’s lawyer when she was initially charged claimed the indictment was the result of a political witch hunt and that the charges were “rooted in personal, political and racial animus” while she was seeking reelection just months before Election Day — claims that her federal public defender maintained during the trial that was relocated from Baltimore to Greenbelt in Prince George’s County, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
More from the New York Times:
Ms. Mosby’s defense team argued that she did face financial hardships, struggling to grow a business she formed in 2019 called Mahogany Elite Enterprises, a company her lawyers said was intended to organize “retreats for successful Black women.” The defense said that travel restrictions related to the pandemic had caused the business to lose money.
The federal investigation into began in 2021 and was initially focused on Mosby and her husband, then-Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, for potential campaign finance violations. At the time, 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 Mosbys 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, independent news outlet the Baltimore Brew published a report claiming then-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.”
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 small pen knife 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 that his death was a homicide.
Life After Hepatitis C: How Ruby Manuel Broke Free From Lifelong Trauma
Surviving Hepatitis C: Jessica's Story
Manslaughter Charges For Hockey ‘Freak Accident’ Where Black Player’s Skate Cut White Opponent’s Throat
Bigoted GOP Candidate Caught Using Racist And Sexist Slurs In Phone Recording Claims He's Not A Bigot
How To Support A Loved One Who Is Living With Heart Failure
Life In Heart Failure Recovery
Heart In Your Hands: Important Lifestyle Changes For Heart Failure Recovery
Jail Justice: Social Media Memes Mock Derek Chauvin After George Floyd's Murderer Stabbed In Prison