Watch CBS News

Feds File Charges Against Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby on Thursday was charged in a federal indictment that accuses her of filing misleading information and paperwork for loan applications.

Mosby, 41, is charged with two counts each of perjury and false statement on mortgage applications, relating to the purchases of two vacation homes in Florida, according to the Department of Justice.

If convicted, Mosby faces a maximum of five years in federal prison for each count of perjury and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison for the two counts of making false mortgage applications.

Her attorney, A. Scott Bolden, told WJZ he and Mosby will fight the "bogus" and "politically motivated" charges.

Mosby allegedly took out $40,000 and $50,000 from her city retirement account through a CARES Act provision that waived penalties on withdrawals for people who were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a copy of the 19-page indictment obtained by WJZ, Mosby had not endured financial hardship as a result of "being quarantined, furloughed or laid off" or "having reduced work hours," among other reasons.

The indictment states that Mosby's 2020 gross salary, nearly $248,000, was never reduced, but rather it represented an increase compared to her 2019 gross salary of nearly $239,000.

Mosby also made false statements in applications for two holiday homes in Florida, according to the complaint. On both applications, Mosby allegedly failed to disclose several liabilities.

Mosby in both applications -- for a $490,500 home in Kissimmee and for a $428,400 condo in Long Boat Key -- allegedly said she was not delinquent or in default on any financial obligations, even though the IRS had placed a lien in Mosby and her husband's property in March 2020 over unpaid federal taxes.

The indictment alleges Mosby "falsely executed" a second-home rider in Aug. 2020 after finalizing an agreement with a vacation home management company, giving the management company control over the rental of the property. The rider, which allows a homeowner to rent out their property after living there for a year, allowed her to get a lower interest rate on the home than she would have otherwise, the charging document said.

"DOCUMENT: Read the full indictment here. 

Last March, federal investigators launched a probe into the finances of Mosby and her husband, City Council President Nick Mosby.

Federal prosecutors subpoenaed records from Marilyn Mosby's campaign, along with Nick and Marilyn's business records. As part of the investigation, federal prosecutors requested tax returns, bank statements and loan documents.

The couple's lawyer, A. Scott Bolden, issued a statement calling the investigation a "political witch hunt."

"My clients are progressive change agents, making them unfair targets of unnecessary scrutiny by federal investigators. Nevertheless, I can assure you and the people of Baltimore, they have done nothing illegal, inappropriate or unlawful," he said.

Bolden later filed a complaint with the Department of Justice asking for two veteran federal prosecutors to be removed from the probe.

"There is no question that the investigation against my clients is frivolous, politically motivated and arises from the animus both Mr. Schenning and Mr. Wise have against state's attorney Mosby," Bolden wrote to the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility.

Schenning is Stephen Schenning, the former acting U.S. attorney. Wise is Leo Wise, the assistant U.S. attorney who has handled numerous high-profile criminal prosecutions -- including against Mayor Catherine Pugh, police commissioner Darryl De Sousa and members of the police Gun Trace Task Force.

The Mosbys' lawyer claims prosecutors leaked the case to the press but provided no evidence of that.

"Their animus is further demonstrated by the fact that they have intentionally revealed facts of a secret grand jury investigation to the media in an effort to harass, degrade, and embarrass my clients," Bolden wrote.

In March, WJZ confirmed through tax records the Mosbys purchased two homes in Florida at a total cost of slightly more than $1 million.

On that issue, Boldin told WJZ in a new statement, "So what? Ms. Mosby, recently purchased a condo and a second home that she rents out when she is not there. So what?! Mrs. Mosby earns a salary, has savings, a lender and a credit score -- all to support her family and she has a legitimate ability to purchase properties and invest her money anyway she chooses. She is no different than anyone else who do [sic] or have done the same. This should not be news, nor does it merit a federal investigation. So what?!"

Mosby will have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, which has not yet been scheduled.

The State's Attorney's Office for Baltimore City said "State's Attorney Mosby and the office remain completely focused and wholly committed to serving the citizens of our city. Our leadership and our frontline prosecutors are some of the best in the world and we will not be distracted or sidetracked from our mission to make Baltimore a safer community."

Similarly, the office of Mayor Brandon Scott said the investigation will not distract from its mission to serve the city.

"With so much at stake, Mayor Scott will continue to champion transparency and accountability to maintain trust in City Hall and prove that local government can operate in the best interests of Baltimoreans. Mayor Scott will not allow these charges to distract his administration from addressing Baltimore's most pressing needs and paving a new way for our city. The mayor remains committed to the mission of building safer neighborhoods, creating jobs, and leading Baltimore's ongoing COVID-19 recovery efforts.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.