Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who brought charges against the officers linked to the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, was indicted on federal charges of perjury and mortgage fraud on Thursday (Jan. 13), the Associated Press reported.
A federal grand jury indicted Mosby on four counts, accusing her of lying on mortgage applications to purchase two vacation homes in Florida, and claiming hardship due to coronavirus to get a premature withdrawal from her retirement savings to buy the homes. According to the criminal indictment, federal prosecutors also say she hid a tax debt on a mortgage loan application, and agreed to rent out a home in Florida, despite promising not to rent the property in order to get a lower interest rate.
The charges come as an election for a third term in June approaches. Federal prosecutors issued subpoenas for several financial records from Mosby and her husband Nick Mosby, who is Baltimore City Council president, according to the Baltimore Sun. Nick Mosby has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
“We will fight these charges vigorously, and I remain confident that once all the evidence is presented, that she will prevail against these bogus charges — charges that are rooted in personal, political and racial animus five months from her election,” Mosby’s attorney A. Scott Bolden said in a statement.
Mosby, 41, was sworn into office in 2015, becoming the youngest top prosecutor in the U.S. at the time. She was reelected in 2018 and restructured her agency to focus on community through a Community Engagement Unit, placing an emphasis on roles that would help residents with cases that were related to their neighborhoods. But the case that brought her national notoriety was the death of Freddie Gray.
In 2015, Mosby charged six police officers with several crimes including second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter after Gray, 25, died seven days after sustaining injuries while being transported in a police van after an arrest. As a result, the city of Baltimore saw several days of unrest as residents demanded accountability from police.
The officers were tried separately which ultimately resulted either in acquittals or dropped charges along with criticism that Mosby did not have probable cause to charge them. Five of the six officers filed suit against her, accusing her of malicious prosecution but despite these misgivings, Mosby defended her actions.
Supporters of Mosby say that federal prosecutors are targeting her unfairly and that Black prosecutors are often placed under a magnifying glass – more so than their white counterparts.
“Every elected official should be investigated when it comes to criminality, corruption and ethical lapses” said civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump who in December called for an end to the federal investigation against Mosby, according to the Sun. “However, it is well documented that Black lawmakers and politicians are disparately targeted, investigated and probed.”
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Bolden says that federal prosecutors will not give him any details on why they were going after his client, only saying that it was linked to her signature on a document. “You can’t prosecute me for perjury, or that I lied about a document, without telling me what the document is. Without telling me what the lie is,” he said.” That’s denial of due process. Every one of them, there were eight in the room, refused to tell us what the lie was, what document they saw.”
The perjury counts against Mosby could result in a maximum sentence of five years in prison while the mortgage counts could carry up to 30 years behind bars.