By Tyler Clifford and Steve Gorman
(Reuters) -Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the city's top prosecutor, was indicted on Thursday on federal charges of perjury and filing false mortgage applications related to her purchase of two Florida vacation homes.
Mosby, a Democrat elected to her post in 2015, is accused of falsely claiming twice to have suffered a work-related financial hardship from COVID-19 in order to request early withdrawals totaling $90,000 from her city employee retirement account.
In both instances, the indictment stated, Mosby fraudulently cited a federal CARES Act provision allowing for emergency distributions of up to $100,000 from her retirement plan in the event of a furlough, layoff, quarantine, reduced work hours, lack of childcare or impact on one's own business caused by COVID-19.
Prosecutors said Mosby, 41, used the money she received - $36,000 in May 2020 and $45,000 on Dec. 31 of that year - toward down payments on vacation homes in Kissimmee, Florida, and Long Boat Key, Florida.
The two counts of perjury stem from Mosby's false statements of coronavirus-related financial duress at a time when she was earning a gross annual salary of nearly $248,000 in full, the indictment asserted.
Mosby is further charged with two counts of making false statements on mortgage applications seeking a total of more than $900,000 in loans to purchase the two Florida properties in question.
In particular, the indictment says, Mosby failed to disclose as required in both applications that she and her husband were delinquent in federal tax payments resulting in $45,000 tax lien filed against them by the Internal Revenue Service in 2020.
Mosby, who ran for office as a part of a movement of "progressive prosecutors" promising to address systemic inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system, made national headlines in 2015 when she charged six officers in the police custody death of Freddie Gray, a young Black man.
The death of Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal injury while being transported without a seatbelt in a police van, led to rioting on the day of his funeral. None of the six officers charged in his death was convicted.
There was no immediate comment from Mosby, her office or any legal representative about the indictment.
If convicted, she could face up to five years for each of two perjury counts and decades in prison on charges of making false mortgage applications, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for Maryland.
(Reporting by Tyler Clifford in New York and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles.Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Matthew Lewis and Cynthia Osterman)