In a stunning fall, Baltimore’s onetime top prosecutor, who made a national name for herself with her unsuccessful prosecution of six police officers in the notorious case surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, is now awaiting sentencing herself and could face up to 30 years in prison for mortgage fraud.
The two-term district attorney, Marilyn Mosby, who was on the vanguard of liberal prosecutors who took a permissive approach to lower-level offenses, found herself in a long and emotional criminal trial over her mortgage applications for two vacation homes in Florida. In a split verdict, the jury found Mosby guilty of one count of mortgage fraud for her Longboat Key property, while finding her not guilty on a second count related to the second house, which is situated near Disney World.
Mosby, who is Black, gained widespread recognition as a young district attorney pursuing charges against six cops for the 2015 death of Gray, who sustained injuries while restrained in police custody. The injuries led to debate about whether the officers had initially given Gray a punitive “rough ride” without a seatbelt, slang for the idea of deliberately driving erratically and causing damage without direct contact. Gray’s death led to widespread rioting at Baltimore. Mosby’s prosecution of the officers, three of whom were Black, failed in what became a major embarrassment.
She also garnered national attention during the Covid pandemic for announcing that she would no longer prosecute low-level offenses, including drug possession and prostitution. It’s a stance she doubled down on a year later, saying at a press conference in March 2021 that “clearly, the data suggest there is no public safety value in prosecuting low-level offenses.”
Aligning herself with far-left criminal justice reformers and associated soft-on-crime tactics, as the Sun reported, Mosby lost her re-election bid in 2022, the same year that San Francisco’s left-wing district attorney, Chesa Boudin, was also ousted by voters fed up by the perception of rampant crime and permissive prosecutors.
Mosby’s difficulties increased after she left office, as federal prosecutors pursued her with the same zeal she’d demonstrated in her pursuit of the Baltimore police officers. In November, she was convicted on two counts of perjury for falsely claiming that she was experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic in order to withdraw funds from the city’s deferred compensation plan. On Tuesday, she was convicted on the one mortgage fraud count.
A reporter at the trial from CBS’s Baltimore outlet on Tuesday said Mosby, 44, “appeared stunned” by the verdict and “had to be steadied by one of her attorneys in court as it was read.” She prayed with supporters and then said nothing as she left the courthouse.
Supporters outside the court chanted, “We love Marilyn,” and said she was being targeted for going after police officers in 2015.
“We know what this trial is all about. It’s about going after the FOP [Fraternal Order of Police] and the killer cops in America,” one supporter told the outlet. “She stood up for us and she was tried for doing the right thing.”
The prosecutor in the case, the United States attorney for the District of Maryland, Erek Barron, who is Black, said in a statement, “We humbly respect the court’s considered rulings, opposing counsels’ zealous advocacy, and the wisdom of both jury verdicts in this case and we remain focused on our mission to uphold the rule of law.”
In an application for a $428,400 mortgage, evidence at trial showed Mosby falsely said she received a $5,000 gift from her husband to obtain a lower interest rate.
“According to the evidence presented at trial, Mosby did not receive a $5,000 gift from her husband, but rather transferred $5,000 to him, and he then transferred the $5,000 back to her,” the statement noted.
Mosby faces up to three decades in prison on the mortgage fraud charge, and her previous perjury charges carry maximum sentences of five years each. No sentencing date has been scheduled yet in either case.