BALTIMORE (WJZ) — At a Monday rally to draw support for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby following her federal indictment, defense lawyer A. Scott Bolden said his client received financial advice she was eligible to withdraw money from her retirement account, an issue at the heart of the case.
Federal prosecutors allege Mosby took out $40,000 and $50,000 from her city retirement account through a CARES Act provision that waived penalties on withdrawals for people who were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mosby is charged with two counts each of perjury and false statement on mortgage applications, relating to the purchases of two vacation homes in Florida,READ MORE: Horseshoe Casino Hosting Hiring Event To Fill Dozens Of Positions
“I’m telling you she’s not only innocent, but we have professionals who she consulted with, and she qualifies under the statute,” said Bolden.
Mosby’s attorney says she has startup businesses affected by Covid that made her eligible to withdraw funds from her retirement account. He says he can’t say if more charges could be coming. He is adamant that she did not know about tax liens. @wjz
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) January 17, 2022
At one point he polled the media and attendees in the room: “If you were not affected by COVID financially, whether you kept your job or not, raise your hand.”
Federal prosecutors say, between 2019 and 2020, Mosby’s gross salary increased from $239,000 to $248,000, according to the indictment.
Mosby had created two companies as startups, Bolden said, and “those businesses were running and they were being pursued and they were legally on the books.”
Bolden also claimed Mosby did not know about a tax lien filed in 2020 against her and husband Nick, the city council president, for $45,000 in unpaid taxes.
In an October 2020 statement, Nick Mosby, who was then a member of the House of Delegates, said: “I have been in ongoing conversations with the IRS for five years about the tax consequences of an early withdrawal from my retirement savings plan, which I did to support unplanned expenses after a series of family tragedies. I expect to have the issue resolved in the coming days.”
Bolden claimed the Mosbys learned about the lien through the press.
“I’m not I’m not going to ask you where you got it from but we but we certainly didn’t get it,” he said. “My clients didn’t get it and it wasn’t delivered or to them in the normal way, if you will.”READ MORE: Baltimore Woman Charged With Attempted Murder For Driving Toward Officers, Crashing Into Cruiser In Walmart Parking Lot, Police Say
Last March, federal investigators launched a probe into the finances of the Mosbys.
Prosecutors subpoenaed records from Marilyn Mosby’s campaign, along with Nick and Marilyn’s business records. As part of the investigation, federal prosecutors requested tax returns, bank statements and loan documents.
That same month, WJZ confirmed through tax records the Mosbys purchased two homes in Florida at a total cost of slightly more than $1 million.
Bolden filed a complaint with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, asking two U.S. attorneys, Stephen Schenning and Leo Wise, be removed from the case.
Speaking Monday, Bolden again targeted Wise, pointing to donations he made to Mosby’s top challengers in the 2018 election cycle. According to state campaign finance records, Wise donated $100 each to Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah.
He suggested Mosby and Wise had disagreements about leaks from the investigation of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force, and that law enforcement agencies don’t want Mosby to win her next election due to her progressive policies.
“We know there’s personal animus because of personal beefs about turf and the Gun Trace [Task Force] piece between them,” he said. “And then there’s political animus, the contributions that were given, and the political animus is that that he and others in the law enforcement community certainly don’t want her to get another term.”
A series of community advocates threw their support behind Mosby, including Willie Flowers of the Park Heights Community Health Alliance, Derrick Chase of Stand Up Baltimore, Nicole Hanson-Mundell of Out For Justice, Inc., and attorney J. Wyndal Gordon. (Gordon noted he is not representing Mosby at trial.)MORE NEWS: Hogan Calls On Franchot To 'Halt Or Minimalize' Pending Gas Tax Increase
Former Mayor and City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young was included in a list of speakers, but he did not address the group.