June 19, 2024

Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby is set to resume his testimony in his wife’s trial

Nick Mosby, while serving as a member of the Baltimore City Council in 2014 and 2015, falsely claimed thousands of dollars of charitable deductions on his taxes, federal prosecutors told a judge Monday.

Mosby claimed he gave a total of $36,000 to charity in those tax years, but federal prosecutors said an expert reviewed his and his former wife Marilyn Mosby’s financial records and found they didn’t have enough money between the two of them to give that much away.

“There just weren’t enough funds to make those charitable donations,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Zelinsky told the federal judge, urging her to allow him to ask Nick Mosby about the taxes.

Details of Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby’s past financial woes came to light both during his testimony at Marilyn Mosby’s federal mortgage fraud trial and in attorneys’ arguments about what they could question him about in front of the jury.

The lawyer for the former Baltimore City State’s Attorney argued that raising the then-couple’s joint tax “impropriety” was unfair because they were never charged or penalized by the IRS.

“If the government had a tax case against Mr. Mosby, you would expect there to be some sort of penalty or finding,” Federal Public Defender James Wyda said.

Zelinsky said he wanted to question Nick Mosby about his taxes to show “that he committed perjury,” undercutting his credibility to the jury tasked with deciding his ex-wife’s case.

Nick Mosby finished testifying Monday afternoon after about a day and a half of answering questions from the defense and prosecution. On his way out of court, he declined to comment, saying he believed it was inappropriate to speak while the case was ongoing.

Another witness important to the defense’s case, the mortgage broker who facilitated Mosby’s purchase of both Florida properties, took the witness stand after Nick Mosby.

Defense lawyers called both witnesses to bolster their theory of the case: That Marilyn Mosby did not knowingly lie on mortgage applications for two vacation properties in Florida.

Mosby was charged with failing to disclose a federal tax debt on loan applications for an eight-bedroom house near Disney World and a condo on the Gulf Coast. But Nick Mosby testified that he was solely in charge of the former power couple’s taxes, that he caused the tax debt that grew to $69,000 and that he withheld their tax trouble from Marilyn Mosby.

U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby prohibited Zelinsky from questioning Nick Mosby about the improprieties on the taxes, which he filed jointly with his ex-wife, finding that allowing the testimony would prejudice the jury against Marilyn Mosby. The judge, however, allowed prosecutors to ask about the council president’s financial troubles.

In 2014, the year Nick Mosby claimed to have given $21,000 to charity, he was $18,640 behind on the mortgage for his house in Baltimore’s Reservoir Hill neighborhood. A bank also repossessed his car because he was $3,000 in arrears on his payment. Additionally, Zelinsky said, from 2014 to 2018, his wages were garnished to pay off student loans.

In 2015, a year Zelinsky told the judge Nick Mosby claimed $15,000 in charitable donations, he was $9,600 in arrears on his mortgage and “tens of thousands of dollars” behind on taxes.

Nick Mosby was appointed to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2017. At the same time, he launched a campaign for mayor.

Without his income as a city councilman, Mosby testified, “I get significantly behind on my bills. Ashamed of it — didn’t tell my wife about it.”

He said the financial hole led him to start a consulting business, Monumental Squared LLC, to operate when the legislature wasn’t in session.

Under questioning by Zelinsky, Mosby acknowledged funneling “over a thousand dollars” of personal expenses through his business. The expenses included clothing purchases from Michael Kors, Gap, Ugg boots, Under Armor, J.Crew and Brooks Brothers.

On Thursday, Nick Mosby gave an emotional account of the couple’s story, from the time they fell in love as college students in Alabama to their relationship unraveling as each achieved political prominence.

He also took the blame for the couple’s once sizable federal tax delinquency, saying he alone handled their taxes and that he wasn’t transparent with his wife as the debt accumulated.

Prosecutors must convince the jury that Mosby’s false statements were intentional and intended to influence mortgage lenders. Though her indictment lists seven false statements, prosecutors must only prove one false statement per mortgage to secure a conviction.

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