Jury selection started on Wednesday in the second trial of former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who’s accused of lying on mortgage applications for two luxury vacation homes in Florida.
Mosby, 43, a Democrat who served two terms as the city’s top prosecutor from 2015-2023, is standing trial in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on two counts of making a false statement on a loan application. She has pleaded not guilty and maintains her innocence.
“Ladies and gentlemen, good morning,” U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby said to potential jurors in the case. “Thank you for being here today on this very brisk January morning, and Happy New Year to each of you.”
Griggsby asked more than 50 questions, including whether the Internal Revenue Service or state of Maryland has a claim, judgment or debt against them, a family member or close friend. That’s along with if they’ve had a positive or negative experience with state or federal tax collection or enforcement.
She also inquired if they or any family members or close friends have worked as a tax preparer or accountant, or had specialized knowledge, training, education or experience in tax matters.
Mosby was found guilty in 2023 of two counts of perjury for twice lying on a form to withdraw $90,000 under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, that she otherwise would not have been able to access from a retirement account. She used the money to make down payments on a home in Kissimmee, Florida, close to Walt Disney World, and a condominium in Longboat Key, Florida.
Federal prosecutors allege the following in a superseding indictment:
In 2020, Mosby filled out an application for a $490,500 mortgage to buy the house in Kissimmee, but did not disclose that she owed federal taxes and that the IRS had placed a tax lien against her and her husband at the time. They’ve since divorced.
She signed a document as part of the mortgage application agreeing that she would maintain “exclusive control” of the property for at least one year. But one week earlier, Mosby signed a contract with a vacation home management company.
Later, in 2021, Mosby again did not disclose that she owed federal taxes or report the tax lien when she filled out an application for a $428,400 mortgage to buy the condo in Longboat Key.
Mosby submitted one letter to the mortgage company claiming that she and her family had spent the last 70 days living at the house in Florida, and another falsely stating that her husband was gifting her $5,000 toward the condo.
Griggsby, as well as Federal Public Defender James Wyda and Assistant Federal Public Defenders Maggie Grace and Sedira Banan, Mosby’s attorneys, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron Zelinsky and Sean Delaney, later individually asked follow-up questions of potential jurors.
The possible jurors included a police officer at the World Bank, a financial consultant and a property manager. One potential juror said she knew about the outcome of the first trial, while several others reported hearing about the allegations.
Large portions of the court proceedings were confidential.
When she arrived at the courthouse, Mosby told reporters, “I’m well. Blessed.”
Her ex-husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, a Democrat who’s running this year for reelection, is among those on the list of potential witnesses.