By Michael Kunzelman | Related Press
GREENBELT, Md. — A former prime prosecutor for the town of Baltimore was convicted on Thursday of costs that she lied concerning the funds of a facet enterprise to improperly entry retirement funds through the COVID-19 pandemic, utilizing the cash to purchase two Florida houses.
A federal jury convicted former Baltimore state’s lawyer Marilyn Mosby of two counts of perjury after a trial that began Monday.
Mosby served two phrases as state’s lawyer for Baltimore. A federal grand jury indicted her on perjury costs earlier than a Democratic major challenger defeated her final yr.
James Wyda, a lawyer for Mosby, declined to remark, citing a gag order. The U.S. Lawyer’s workplace received’t have a touch upon the decision, mentioned spokeswoman Marcia Lubin.
Mosby gained a nationwide profile for prosecuting Baltimore law enforcement officials after Freddie Grey, a Black man, died in police custody in 2015, which was Mosby’s first yr in workplace. His demise led to riots and protests within the metropolis. Not one of the officers have been convicted.
Mosby declined to testify earlier than her attorneys rested their case on Wednesday. After the decision, she mentioned, “I’m blessed. I don’t know what else to say,” as she left the courthouse and entered a ready automotive.
Mosby additionally faces separate costs of mortgage fraud. A trial date for these costs hasn’t been set.
In 2020, on the peak of the pandemic, Mosby withdrew $90,000 from Baltimore metropolis’s deferred compensation plan. She acquired her full wage, about $250,000 that yr.
Mosby’s 2022 indictment accused her of improperly accessing retirement funds by falsely claiming that the pandemic harmed a travel-oriented enterprise that she had shaped. She used the withdrawals as down funds to purchase a house in Kissimmee, Florida, and a condominium in Lengthy Boat Key, Florida.
Prosecutors argued that Mosby wasn’t entitled to entry the funds underneath provisions of the Coronavirus Help, Aid and Financial Safety Act. They mentioned her enterprise, Mahogany Elite Enterprises, had no shoppers or income and didn’t maintain any “antagonistic monetary penalties” from the pandemic.
“This case is a couple of lawyer and a public servant who positioned her personal egocentric pursuits above the reality,” Assistant U.S. Lawyer Sean Delaney advised jurors on Monday through the trial’s opening statements.
Mosby made separate withdrawals of $40,000 and $50,000 from the town retirement plan. Prosecutors say the cash within the account is held in belief and belongs to the town till a plan participant is eligible to make a withdrawal.
One among Mosby’s legal professionals mentioned she was legally entitled to withdraw the cash and spend it nonetheless she needed. Mosby advised the reality when she licensed on paperwork that the pandemic devastated her enterprise, mentioned federal public defender James Wyda.
In the course of the trial’s closing arguments, Wyda mentioned Mosby spent money and time to start out a enterprise designed to assist “girls of shade” in enterprise to journey to retreats.
“You understand the world stopped when the pandemic hit” in 2020, Wyda advised jurors. “What firm or enterprise related to the pandemic didn’t cease when the worldwide pandemic hit?”
A. Scott Bolden, a lawyer who initially represented Mosby however later withdrew from the case, has described the costs as “bogus” and claimed the case is “rooted in private, political and racial animus.”
Throughout her tenure as state’s lawyer, Mosby acquired nationwide recognition for her progressive insurance policies and have become a lightning rod for criticism from those that thought she went too far. Amongst different high-profile choices, Mosby stopped prosecuting sure low-level crimes, a observe her successor has reversed.
U.S. District Choose Lydia Kay Griggsby agreed to maneuver Mosby’s trial from Baltimore to Greenbelt, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Mosby’s attorneys argued that she couldn’t get a good trial in Baltimore after years of detrimental media protection. Prosecutors opposed the venue change, saying Mosby had sought and inspired protection of the case.
Related Press author Lea Skene in Baltimore contributed to this report.