Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby (D) appeared for the first time in U.S. District Court on Friday, entering pleas of not guilty to perjury and charges of making false statements on mortgage applications.
Mosby, 42, was arraigned by U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson in a video hearing; the public and journalists were able to listen in by phone call.
During the 11-minute hearing, Mosby entered a plea of “not guilty” to all of the four counts against her, and her attorney, A. Scott Bolden, underscored his request for a speedy trial.
A federal grand jury indicted Mosby on four charges last month: two counts of perjury for falsely claiming a COVID-19 hardship on an application to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars from her retirement account, and two counts for making alleged false statements on mortgage applications for two vacation homes in Florida.
Mosby spoke occasionally during the procedural hearing, greeting the judge and indicating she understood the indictment against her and her rights as a defendant.
“Your honor, I plead not guilty. To all four of the counts,” Mosby said during the arraignment.
Bolden said he and Mosby were “absolutely” reserving their right to a trial by jury.
In asking for a speedy trial, Bolden said: “This is a politically charged case. My client is in the middle of a reelection campaign.”
Bolden and Mosby have said they want the case to move forward as quickly as possible and they’d like it resolved before the June 28 Democratic primary for state’s attorney. Two challengers, Ivan Bates and Roya Hanna, have launched campaigns.
Bolden also asked for immediate turnover of evidence in the case by the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Leo Wise, the federal prosecutor on the case, said the defense had not yet formally requested that information.
Wise estimated that a trial in the case would take four days.
The deadline to file pre-trial motions was set for Feb. 18.
“I anticipate a number of pre-trial motions,” Bolden said. “…I certainly plan on filing my motions, a number of them, if not today, early next week.”
According to prosecutors, Mosby applied for $90,000 in retirement distributions through a CARES Act provision in 2020.
To qualify to withdraw money from her retirement account, Mosby certified on an application form that she experienced financial hardships because of the pandemic.
But federal prosecutors say that Mosby received her full gross salary of $247,955.58 in 2020. She ultimately withdrew $81,000, in two installments, from the account without a tax penalty, according to the indictment.
Bolden has said that the CARES Act provision allowed people to apply for retirement distributions if they were financially impacted “in any way,” and, during a press appearance last month, suggested that Mosby’s travel-related business, first reported on by the Baltimore Brew, had taken a hit even though she previously asserted the company was dormant.
Mosby also faces two counts of making false statements on mortgage loan applications for a home in Kissimmee, Fla., and a condominium in Long Boat Key.
According to the indictment, Mosby neglected to disclose a $45,022 federal tax lien against her and her husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick J. Mosby (D), for calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016 on applications for both Florida properties.
Baltimore City Circuit Court records show that the tax liens were placed in February 2020 and ultimately paid in June 2021, after the purchase of the Florida properties.
Bolden has said Marilyn Mosby was unaware of the liens when she signed the mortgage paperwork.