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'I'm built for this': Baltimore State's Attorney Mosby pledges to fight federal perjury charges

Tim Prudente and Alex Mann, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in News & Features

BALTIMORE — Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby struck a defiant tone Friday in her first public appearance since being indicted on federal perjury charges, pledging to fight a case that she called politically and racially motivated and heading off calls that she step down from office.

“I wanted the people of Baltimore to hear it from me: I’ve done nothing wrong. I did not defraud anyone to take money from my retirement savings. I did not lie on my mortgage application,” she said. “Don’t be fooled. We are now five months from my next election, and this indictment is merely a political ploy by my political adversaries to unseat me.

“Please understand. I will never let that happen without a fight.”

The two-term Baltimore State’s Attorney is charged with two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements on loan applications to buy a condo on the Gulf of Mexico and an eight-bedroom rental home near Disney World. According to the indictment, Mosby claimed a financial hardship that allowed her to make two early withdrawals totaling $81,000 from her retirement savings for the down payments.

The early withdrawals were permitted under the federal CARES Act for people who suffered financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Federal prosecutors, however, say Mosby suffered no such hardship and instead saw her salary increase by $10,000 to nearly $250,000 in 2020.

In making the withdrawals, Mosby checked a box and affirmed under the penalty of perjury that she suffered financial hardship by either being furloughed, having reduced work hours, being unable to work because of a lack of child care, or a reduction in a personal business. Federal prosecutors say none of these circumstances applies to the Baltimore state’s attorney.

 

They also accuse Mosby of making false statements on loan applications by failing to disclose a $45,000 federal tax lien. According to the indictment, she falsely said the Orlando, Florida, property was a second home, which lowered the interest rate, when she had lined up a management company to operate it as a vacation rental.

During her brief appearance Friday, Mosby did not take questions. She read about a five minute statement that described her underdog bid for Baltimore state’s attorney in 2014, then the political fallout she faced after charging six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray — none was convicted — and implementing progressive criminal justice reforms in Baltimore.

“I am innocent, and I intend to do what I’ve always done since becoming state’s attorney in the city I love: Fight. I will fight these charges with everything I have in me,” she said. “I’m built for this, and I will not be distracted from doing my job.”

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore declined to comment. Overseeing the case is the new U.S. Attorney for Maryland Erek Barron, the first Black person to hold the position in Maryland. President Joe Biden nominated Barron, who was sworn in last October.

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