Federal prosecutors said in court filings that the government plans to try to seize Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s Florida Gulf Coast vacation condo if she’s convicted of perjury and mortgage fraud.
The city’s top prosecutor is charged with two counts of perjury and two counts of mortgage fraud related to early withdrawals from her 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 have said in court filings Mosby lied about experiencing adverse financial consequences to make early withdrawals from her retirement account under the CARES Act, and then lied about her finances and plans for the Florida properties to get better loan terms.
Mosby and her lawyers have maintained her innocence, claiming the charges are politically motivated and that vindictive and racist prosecutors are leading the case against her.
Her trial is set for Sept. 19. The two-term Democrat lost the July 19 primary and is slated to leave office in January.
Prosecutors did not file notice of plans to seize the Disney-area home because Mosby sold it to a Baltimore County resident in November 2021 for a $150,000 profit. She bought the home for $545,000.
Mosby still owns the condo, according to online property records, which she bought for $476,000 in February 2021.
A listing on Zillow for the property values it now at $747,500.
While Friday’s court filings marked the first time prosecutors specifically said they would try to seize the condo, they had said in March filings they would seek forfeiture of “property constituting or derived from” her alleged criminal offenses.
A. Scott Bolden, Mosby’s lead defense attorney, said the government has “major hurdles” and questioned whether it was proper to seize a home she purchased with her own money.
While prosecutors contend Mosby did not legally have a claim to make an early withdrawal from her retirement account, which she used for the down payment, there is no dispute that the money in the account was her own.
“It is nothing more than overkill, over-zealousness and over-prosecution of my client,” Bolden said. “Nevertheless, I look forward to vigorously and successfully defending Ms. Mosby in September against the government’s overreach.”
Prosecutors have taken issue with Mosby’s purchase of the condo because of her use of retirement funds to make the down payment and because of assertions 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 retiring unless they stop working for the government or experience an “unforeseeable emergency.”
Congress temporarily loosened those provisions under 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 in the summer of that year the businesses she owned existed in name only.
Mosby needed $35,699.15 by Feb. 19, 2021, to close on the condo. As of Jan. 25, 2021, Mosby had just over $31,000 in her bank account, according to the indictment.
The Zillow listing describes the condo as an “enviable address” a “stone’s throw away from the shoreline” with wrap-around decks offering views of a landscape designed by a master gardener that is celebrated for its “outdoor radiance.”
A few thousand dollars short, Mosby wrote a letter to her lender, saying her husband would give her $5,000 at closing, according to the indictment. Known as a gift letter, people often submit these when they are short on down payment funds and can get the money from a family member. Gifts have to come from the donor and can’t be something the recipient has to pay back.
But prosecutors allege City Council President Nick Mosby didn’t actually give his wife $5,000. Instead, Marilyn Mosby wired $5,000 to her husband right before she got her next paycheck, which, had she waited for it, would have covered what she needed for the down payment. Nick Mosby then transferred the money into his savings account before putting it back in another account and sending it to the loan agent, according to the indictment of his wife. Nick Mosby has not been charged with any crimes.
Mosby also neglected to note a 2020 tax lien against her or her husband on this mortgage application, according to the indictment. They paid off the $45,000 lien later that year.