Marilyn Mosby, Maryland state’s attorney for the city of Baltimore, was charged on Thursday by a U.S. District Court for lying and perjuring herself. She won election to the position in 2015 and was just weeks away from filing papers for her reelection when the indictment came down. Once a shining progressive light who promised to bring change to the city’s long history of corruption and self-dealing by politicians, Mosby now faces decades in prison if she’s convicted.
Immediately upon assuming office in 2015, Mosby restructured the state’s attorney’s office along the lines of other progressive prosecutors in New York City, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Notably, she announced that her office would no longer prosecute individuals for marijuana offenses, vacating nearly 5,000 previous convictions.
Mosby is perhaps best known for her May 1, 2015 decision to pander to leftists and overcharge six Baltimore police officers in the Freddie Gray case. Gray, it will be remembered, was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon while under indictment in five separate assault and theft cases.
He put up such a ruckus in the police van taking him to headquarters that he broke his neck, resulting in his death seven days later.
Mosby saw her chance to make a statement that was both anti-police and pro-violence: She charged the officers with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz saw through the scam, publicly stating that Mosby was deliberately overcharging the officers to gain notoriety, name recognition, and to satisfy protestors who were ravaging the city.
Ultimately, all six officers were exonerated but only after long, exhausting, and expensive trials. All six are back on the job, and five of them have sued Mosby for malicious prosecution and defamation of character.
In 2020 she saw her chance to do further injustice to Baltimore’s justice system with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic: She announced that her office would no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic violations and other “low-level” offenses in order, she claimed, to halt the spread of the virus in Baltimore’s prisons.
During the COVID crisis, Mosby found a way to enrich herself and her husband Nick, who by no coincidence happens to be the current president of the City Council: She raided her government-funded retirement plan for enough money to make down payments on not one, but two vacation homes in Kissimmee, Florida.
In the process, she lied about suffering duress thanks to COVID, and then lied again about IRS tax liens filed against her and her husband in order to borrow nearly $900,000 to complete the purchases of the two homes. She also violated the mortgage companies’ rules regarding renting the houses out.
The indictment, filed by U.S. Attorney Erek Barron in the U.S. District Court for Maryland, pulled no punches. In applying for loans from her own 457(b) retirement plan she claimed she was experiencing “adverse financial consequences” stemming from COVID. But Barron said she lied:
Mosby had not experienced adverse financial consequences … [and] in fact, Mosby’s gross salary in 2020 was $247,955.58, and it was never reduced.… Rather than experiencing a reduction in income in 2020, Mosby’s gross salary in 2020 increased over her gross salary in 2019, which was $238,772.04.
When the scam worked, and she received enough to make the down payment on the first home in Florida, she went back to the well again. And again she was caught. Barron noted, Mosby “did willfully and knowingly state material matters which she did not believe to be true … [that she] had not experienced any of the enumerated financial hardships she claimed to have experienced [in order to obtain the disbursements].”
The other two counts involved false claims she made while applying for mortgage loans to complete the purchases of the homes. As Barron noted: “[the applications] required Mosby to disclose her liabilities. Mosby did not disclose that she owed significant amounts of federal taxes.”
She and husband Nick owed the IRS more than $90,000, left over from prior years. In fact the IRS had run out of options with the couple and was forced to file a lien against them. But none of this showed up on the mortgage applications.
Marilyn M. Mosby knowingly made false statements or reports for the purpose of influencing … the action of [the two mortgage companies involved] … certifying that (1) Mosby certified the only liabilities she owed were those disclosed in the application, when in truth and fact, as Mosby knew, she owed significant amounts of federal taxes; (2) that she was not presently delinquent or in default on any Federal debt, when in truth and in fact, as Mosby knew, she was delinquent in paying her federal taxes.
The worst is yet to come for the aspiring progessive: This indictment is the first of several that are expected in the near future. Both Mosby and husband Nick have been under investigation dating back to 2014 for shady business practices. As David Jaros, a University of Baltimore law professor who has been following the investigation, noted:
These are charges that grew … out of an investigation that involved other things. There are subpoenas to find out about donations to charities and things like that. So, [some] are wondering if other indictments are on their way.
But Mosby has friends in high places, which might serve as redemption if the indictments result in convictions. She could spend decades in federal prison for her perjury and lying. But back when she was running for the office, she had a little help. Then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris helped raise funds for her, earning Mosby’s gratitude. Following her victory, she tweeted, “There would be no Marilyn Mosby without Kamala Harris. When I won state’s attorney, Kamala was my inspiration.”
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