Saturday, November 11, 2023

Former Baltimore Prosecutor Convicted of Perjury in False COVID Claim of Hardship (USDOJ press release, NY Times)

This elected Baltimore prosecutor thought that she'd get away with false claims of COVID-19 "hardship" when her business existed only on paper.  She withdrew funds from her deferred compensation plan and then used the money for down payments on Florida real estate. Trial was in Greenbelt, not Baltimore, because of polls finding people considered her "corrupt." She was represented by the Federal Public Defender. 

Wondering about some of the land use change applicants in our town, who are wont to claim "hardships" that does not exist -- possible perjury?  

USDOJ press release and New York Times article: 


Former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby Convicted on Two Counts of Perjury

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Defendant Falsely Claimed to Have Experienced Financial “Hardship” Resulting from Coronavirus to Obtain Distributions from the City of Baltimore’s Deferred Compensation Plan

Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal jury today convicted Marilyn J. Mosby, age 42, of Baltimore, Maryland, on federal charges of perjury, relating to the withdrawal of funds from the City of Baltimore’s Deferred Compensation Plan claiming that she suffered adverse financial consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic when she was Baltimore City State’s Attorney. 

The conviction was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Kareem A. Carter of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron said, “We respect the jury’s verdict and remain steadfastly committed to our mission to uphold the rule of law, keep our country safe, protect the civil rights of all Americans, and safeguard public property.”

According to the evidence presented at trial, on May 26, 2020 and December 29, 2020, Mosby submitted “457(b) Coronavirus-Related Distribution Requests” for one-time withdrawals of $40,000 and $50,000, respectively, from City of Baltimore’s Deferred Compensation Plan.  Trial evidence proved that Mosby falsely certified that she met at least one of the qualifications for a distribution as defined under the CARES Act, specifically, that she experienced adverse financial consequences from the Coronavirus as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, or laid off; having reduced work hours; being unable to work due to lack of childcare; or the closing or reduction of hours of a business she owned or operated.  In signing the forms, Mosby “affirm[ed] under penalties for perjury the statements and acknowledgments made in this request.”  As proven at trial, Mosby did not experience any such financial hardships and in fact, Mosby received her full gross salary of $247,955.58 from January 1, 2020 through December 29, 2020, in bi-weekly gross pay direct deposits of $9,183.54. 

Mosby faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each of the two counts of perjury.  U.S. District Judge Lydia K. Griggsby has not yet scheduled sentencing.

In a separate pending federal case, Mosby also faces two counts of making false mortgage applications, relating to the purchases of two vacation homes in Florida.  Those charges remain pending and a trial date has not been set.  If convicted of those counts, the defendant faces a maximum of 30 years in federal prison for each of two remaining counts.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI and IRS-CI for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean R. Delaney and Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, who are prosecuting the federal case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Marcia Lubin
(410) 209-4854

Updated November 9, 2023

Former Baltimore Prosecutor Found Guilty of Perjury in Federal Court

A jury found Marilyn Mosby, once the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, guilty of lying about hardships tied to the pandemic to withdraw retirement funds.

A woman, surrounded by a crowd of people, speaks into microphones at a news conference outside a courthouse.
Marilyn Mosby, once the youngest top prosecutor of any major American city and a star of the police accountability movement, was charged with two counts of perjury.Credit...Ting Shen for The New York Times
A woman, surrounded by a crowd of people, speaks into microphones at a news conference outside a courthouse.

Peder Schaefer and 

Marilyn Mosby, a former Baltimore prosecutor who rose to national prominence for pursuing charges against police officers in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, was found guilty in federal court on two counts of perjury for falsely claiming financial hardship to withdraw money from a retirement fund.

The verdict, coming after a brief, three-day trial, is a low point in a long fall from grace for Ms. Mosby, 43, once the youngest top prosecutor of any major American city and a star of the police accountability movement.

She faces up to five years in prison for each conviction, though typically sentences are far below the maximum.

Her handling of Mr. Gray’s case put her in the national limelight, but a cascade of problems began shortly afterward. None of the prosecutions she brought against the officers in connection with Mr. Gray’s death were successful. In early 2022 Ms. Mosby was indicted by federal prosecutors on the perjury charges, most likely dooming her attempt at a third term, which ended with a loss in the Democratic primary that summer. And this July, she and Nick Mosby, the president of the Baltimore City Council, announced that they were getting divorced, ending a marriage that had been a formidable force in city politics.

In the indictment, prosecutors accused Ms. Mosby of falsely claiming financial hardship tied to the coronavirus pandemic to withdraw money from her city retirement account. While typically a person cannot withdraw money from this type of account until retirement, the CARES Act permitted withdrawals for “adverse financial consequences” tied to the pandemic, such as the loss of a job or reduced work hours.

In 2020, Ms. Mosby requested funds totaling $90,000 from her retirement account, indicating on federal forms that she had been facing financial hardship. But government prosecutors said that Ms. Mosby was not eligible for the disbursements. Instead, payroll documents showed that, in her job as Baltimore City state’s attorney, Ms. Mosby continued to collect an annual salary of nearly $250,000 during the pandemic and had no reduction of her work hours. Prosecutors said that Ms. Mosby used the money to fund down payments for vacation homes in Florida.

“Telling the truth especially matters when public officials are looking to access funds for their own personal use,” Aaron Zelinsky, an assistant U.S. attorney, said during closing statements. “We should not allow her to lie and commit perjury to purchase Florida vacation homes in the worst pandemic in 100 years.”

Statements Ms. Mosby made in mortgage loan applications for those homes also drew federal charges of fraud unrelated to the CARES Act. She will be tried on those in a separate trial.

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

“For Ms. Mosby the pandemic meant the crashing of her dream,” James Wyda, a federal public defender, said in his closing argument. “These are not the actions of a greedy, lying thief. They are the actions of someone acting responsibly.”

But an F.B.I. forensic accountant testified at trial that the company never had any revenue nor clients, making the question of financial hardship irrelevant.

While the trial had initially been slated to be held at the federal courthouse in Baltimore, it was moved after the defense successfully argued that negative publicity had made the local jury pool biased against Ms. Mosby. According to polling of prospective jurors, 45 percent of those in the Northern Division, which includes Baltimore, had described the defendant as “somewhat” or “very” corrupt.

A version of this article appears in print on Nov. 10, 2023, Section A, Page 20 of the New York edition with the headline: Baltimore Ex-Prosecutor Is Convicted of Perjury.

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