BALTIMORE, MD — The day after she was indicted on federal charges including perjury, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she was innocent.
"I wanted the people of Baltimore to hear it from me — I have done nothing wrong," Mosby said, speaking at a news conference Friday afternoon downtown.
The four-count indictment the U.S. district attorney released Thursday alleges that Mosby lied to obtain money made available through the CARES Act and gave false statements to obtain mortgages in Florida.
"I have done nothing wrong," Mosby said. "I did not defraud anyone to take my money from my retirement savings, and I did not lie on any mortgage application."
Enacted in March 2020, the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act allowed participants in certain retirement plans the option to withdraw from their savings if they were negatively impacted by coronavirus.
Mosby, 41, pledged under the penalty of perjury that she met the qualifications for the coronavirus-related distribution requests she made in May and December 2020 for $40,000 and $50,000, according to the U.S. District Attorney for Maryland.
The money came from the city of Baltimore's Deferred Compensation Plan, which employees can only access once they have left their job or are 70.5 years old.
Below is an excerpt from the indictment:
"The indictment alleges that Mosby did not experience any such financial hardships," prosecutors said in a statement. "In fact, Mosby received her full gross salary of $247,955.58 from January 1, 2020 through December 29, 2020, in bi-weekly gross pay direct deposits of $9,183.54."
Her salary also increased from 2019, when it was $238,772.04, the indictment says.
Mosby said she offered to make herself available to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury.
"But the U.S. Attorney and the lead prosecutor in the case — my political opponent, who has personal animus towards me — has refused to allow me to do so," Mosby said.
In addition to two counts of perjury, Mosby faces two counts of making false statements on loan applications to obtain mortgages on homes in Florida.
The Internal Revenue Service placed a lien against all property and rights to property belonging to Mosby and her husband in March 2020 due to $45,022 in unpaid taxes the couple owed the IRS, the indictment states.
She did not disclose her liabilities in applying for loans to buy a $490,500 home in Kissimmee, Florida, and a $428,400 condominium in Longboat Key, Florida, according to the indictment.
"This Indictment Is Merely A Political Ploy"
The charges announced this week were political, according to Mosby.
"Please don't be fooled," Mosby said Friday. "We are now five months from the next election. This indictment is merely a political ploy by my political adversaries to unseat me."
Mosby was elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. Her position is not term-limited.
Mosby said that she was holding a news conference Friday "to state unequivocally that I am innocent and that I intend to do what I have always done ... fight."
She could face up to 10 years in prison for the perjury charges and up to 60 years for making false statements on loan applications; however, federal sentencing tends to be lower.
"I will fight these charges with everything I have in me, because as a woman of faith, I know and I stand firmly in the promises of Isaiah 54:17 that no weapon formed against me will prosper," Mosby said.
"As a state's attorney for Baltimore City, I've used my power and my discretion to do things that a lot of people in this country just don't like," Mosby said. "I have had a target on my back" since 2015 for bringing charges against six officers in the death of Freddie Gray, Mosby said. None of the charges stuck.
She said she has had to have armed security; has received hate mail and death threats; had the safety of her daughters compromised by the media; and incurred "personally more than $500,000 in legal bills, defending myself from frivolous investigations and attacks."
Mosby said she has exonerated people serving sentences for crimes they did not commit, sought to "end the war on drug users and people of color by decriminalizing drug possession and sex work," and she planned to fight back against the prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office who "warned me not to charge the police in the Freddie Gray case. "
Said Mosby: "What I've come to learn in fighting for what's right is that there are many in this country fully committed to defending the status quo, who also realize that those of us who are equally committed to dismantling the status quo represent a threat to business as usual."