BALTIMORE — Federal prosecutors said in court documents that the government plans to try to seize Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s vacation condo on Florida’s Gulf Coast if she is convicted of perjury and mortgage fraud.
The city attorney general is charged with two counts of perjury and two counts of mortgage fraud relating to early withdrawals from his city retirement account and the purchase of two Florida homes: an eight-bedroom home near Disney World and the Two bedroom condo in Longboat Key.
Prosecutors said in court filings that Mosby lied about suffering adverse financial consequences for making early withdrawals from his retirement account under the CARES Act, and then lied about his finances and plans for Florida properties to get better loan terms.
Mosby and her lawyers have maintained her innocence, claiming the allegations are politically motivated and that vengeful, racist prosecutors are leading the case against her.
His trial is set for September 19. The two-term Democrat lost the July 19 primaries and is expected to step down in January.
Prosecutors did not notify plans to seize the Disney-area home because Mosby sold it to a Baltimore County resident in November 2021 for a profit of $150,000. She bought the house for $545,000.
Mosby still owns the condo, according to online property records, which she purchased for $476,000 in February 2021.
A listing on Zillow for the property now values it at $747,500.
While Friday’s court proceedings marked the first time prosecutors specifically said they would seek to seize the condo, they said in March that they would seek confiscation of “property constituting or derived from” their alleged criminal offenses.
A. Scott Bolden, Mosby’s lead defense attorney, said the government had “great obstacles” and questioned whether it was appropriate to confiscate a home she bought with her own money.
Although prosecutors claim that Mosby did not legally have a request to make an early withdrawal from her retirement account, which she used for the down payment, there is no doubt that the money in the account was hers.
“It’s nothing more than exaggeration, overzealousness and over-accusation by my client,” Bolden said. “However, I hope to vigorously and successfully defend Ms. Mosby in September against government hype.”
Prosecutors disagreed with Mosby’s purchase of the condo because of her use of retirement funds to make the down payment and because of claims she made to her lender when being approved for a mortgage. Unlike retirement accounts for private sector employees, government employees cannot access their retirement accounts before they retire unless they stop working for the government or experience an “unpredictable emergency”.
Congress temporarily relaxed these provisions of the CARES Act, the first pandemic relief bill, allowing people to make withdrawals from 457(b) accounts if they suffered adverse financial consequences as a result of COVID-19, or if a business they owned had closed or suffered a loss. Mosby’s salary actually increased in 2020, the year she made the withdrawal and the first year of the pandemic, and she said that in the summer of that year the businesses she owned existed in name only.
Mosby needed $35,699.15 by February 19, 2021 to close the condo. As of January 25, 2021, Mosby had just over $31,000 in his bank account, according to the indictment.
Zillow’s listing describes the condo as an “enviable address” “just steps from the shore” with wraparound decks that offer views of a landscape designed by a master gardener who is celebrated for its “outdoor splendour.”
Missing a few thousand dollars, Mosby wrote a letter to her creditor, saying her husband would give her $5,000 at closing, according to the indictment. Known as a gift letter, people often send them when they are low on cash and can receive money from a family member. Gifts have to come from the giver and cannot be something the recipient has to pay back.
But prosecutors allege Mayor Nick Mosby failed to give his wife $5,000. Instead, Marilyn Mosby transferred $5,000 to her husband just before she got her next paycheck, which, had she waited, would have covered what she needed for the down payment. Nick Mosby then transferred the money to his savings account before putting it back in another account and sending it to the loan officer, according to his wife’s indictment. Nick Mosby has not been charged with any crime.
Mosby also failed to note a 2020 tax lien against her husband in this mortgage application, according to the indictment. They paid off the $45,000 guarantee at the end of that year.