Baltimore’s top prosecutor pleads not guilty in federal case

Baltimore’s top prosecutor pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges that she made false statements on financial documents to withdraw money from her retirement savings and purchase two Florida vacation homes.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby entered the plea during a remote hearing for her initial appearance and arraignment in federal court.

Defense attorney A. Scott Bolden said Mosby wants a jury trial to start within 60 days.

“This is a politically charged case. My client is in the middle of a reelection campaign. The government has decided to bring an indictment against her four or five months out,” Bolden said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson, who presided over Friday’s hearing, told Bolden he must take up his request for a trial date with U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby. A conference call between Griggby and the lawyers is scheduled for Feb. 23.

A trial is estimated to last four days. Prosecutors didn’t seek Mosby’s pretrial detention.

Mosby, 41, was elected as Baltimore’s state’s attorney in 2014 and reelected in 2018. She received national acclaim in 2015 for bringing criminal charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man whose neck was broken in police custody. Gray’s death sparked protests and riots. None of the officers was convicted.

On Jan. 13, a grand jury indicted Mosby on two counts each of perjury and making a false statement on a loan application in purchasing a home in Kissimmee, Florida, and a condominium in Long Boat Key, Florida.

The indictment accuses her of falsely stating that the COVID-19 pandemic harmed her finances so she could withdraw $90,000 from her city retirement account. Mosby’s gross salary in 2020 was over $247,000 and never was reduced, the indictment says.

Bolden has said that the state of Mosby’s fledgling private businesses — Mahogany Elite Travel, Mahogany Elite Enterprises LLC and Mahogany Elite Consulting — allowed her to make the withdrawals.

Mosby used money from her retirement account to make down payments on the Florida home purchases in 2020 and 2021, the indictment says.

The indictment also accuses Mosby of making false statements in applications for mortgages to buy the Florida homes. She was required to disclose her debts but didn’t disclose on either application that she had unpaid federal taxes from previous years, the indictment says.

Mosby has denied that she lied on her mortgage applications.

“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,” she said last month.

Mosby is married to Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby. He has not been charged with any crimes.

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