Baltimore top prosecutor pleads not guilty on fraud, perjury charges

Last month we learned that Baltimore State’s Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby had been indicted on multiple counts of fraud and perjury involving her personal finances and the purchase of two vacation homes in Florida. The alleged fraud involved the abuse of a COVID relief program where Mosby claimed economic harm from the pandemic as an excuse to withdraw funds from her retirement account without penalty. The perjury charges stem from mortgage applications where she hid the fact that she currently had IRS leans against her after failing to pay her income taxes. On Friday, Mosby finally appeared in court and entered not guilty pleas on all four charges. Her explanations for how all of this has played out thus far remain dubious at best. (NY Post)

Baltimore’s top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal charges of perjury and making false statements on loan applications stemming from her purchase of two Florida vacation homes…

Online court records showed Mosby entered not guilty pleas to all four counts contained in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Jan. 13.

During a 15-minute arraignment before a federal magistrate in Baltimore, Mosby answered several perfunctory questions and told the judge, “Your honor, I would plead not guilty to all four counts,” according to The Washington Post.

When asked how she’s managed to wind up in this much legal trouble, Mosby claimed that she is “the victim of a politically motivated prosecution by adversaries in the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office trying to smear her as she runs for a third term.” That’s awfully reminiscent of the politically motivated prosecutions she attempted against half a dozen police officers after the Freddie Gray riots. (All of which failed to deliver even a single conviction.)

It’s going to be interesting to see what sort of a defense Mosby attempts to mount. In terms of the abuse of the COVID relief rules, there seems to be no dispute whatsoever that she did in fact withdraw two tranches of money from her retirement fund without paying an early withdrawal fee based on her claims of having suffered “work-related financial hardship” as a result of the pandemic. At no time did either Mosby or her husband, City Council President Nick Mosby, miss a single paycheck from their lucrative, taxpayer-funded jobs. If she attempts to claim that the harm was caused to a set of small-business travel companies she filed paperwork for a couple of years ago, she will need to explain why she told reporters repeatedly that those were shell companies that only existed on paper and had no employees.

As to where the money went, it is also not in dispute that the Mosbys purchased two expensive vacation homes in Florida last year. That doesn’t sound like the sort of shopping spree that someone goes on in the midst of a “work-related financial hardship.”

Her attorney is still claiming that the perjury charges are bogus because when she filled out the mortgage applications she was “not aware” that there were IRS leans against her and her husband. Seriously? You’re both attorneys. How in the world are you possibly unaware that the IRS is placing liens on your assets because of delinquent tax payments? And even if you were somehow unaware, I’m fairly sure that ignorance of the law is still not a valid excuse.

Even if Mosby somehow manages to wriggle out of this trap, that won’t be the end of the legal problems facing both her and her husband. Barely a week after she was hit with these charges, we learned that both of them are under investigation for campaign finance violations. They allegedly used campaign funds to pay their defense attorneys who were doing no work related to their campaigns. And it looks like officials have the goods on them in that case as well.

Even in a city with such a shocking history of official corruption as Baltimore, the stench of dirty dealings surrounding the Mosbys has been almost impressive. The sheer audacity of thinking that you can just break the rules however you like to benefit yourself even while you impose “justice” on others in the name of the government is almost too much to be believed.

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