The mortgage fraud trial of former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is coming to a close.
U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby dismissed the jury before 2 p.m. on Thursday after the defense and government wrapped up their cases. Both sides are set on Monday to make their closing arguments.
“The presentation of evidence in this trial is now complete,” Griggsby said to the jury. “So, I’m going to excuse you for today with a few instructions.”
Mosby, 44, a Democrat who served 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. Federal prosecutors allege that she lied on mortgage applications related to her purchase of two luxury vacation homes in Florida.
Earlier in the court proceedings, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Zelinsky continued his cross-examination of Mosby.
Zelinsky had to ask her several questions multiple times. Mosby repeatedly cut him off, and, more than once, responded, “Asked and answered, yes.” In response to one question, she replied, “Is that your testimony, sir? I can’t answer that question.”
Mosby acknowledged that she reviewed the mortgage applications but stated that she did not fill them out herself. She said she felt that the responses were accurate.
When she bought a home in Kissimmee, Florida, near Walt Disney World, in 2020, Mosby testified that she believed that her husband at the time was current on a payment plan with the Internal Revenue Service. She said she had been unaware of a more than $45,000 tax lien, so she also did not think that she was delinquent or in default on any federal debt.
Her mortgage broker, Gilbert Bennett, who works at My Easy Mortgage, filled out the document. The form listed examples of liabilities, she said, which included car loans, alimony and child support.
“Did anyone tell you that tax debt did not need to be included on this form?” Zelinsky asked.
“Again, sir, I did not populate this form,” Mosby replied. “My Easy Mortgage populated this form.”
She added: “No, nobody ever gave me that advice, sir.”
Later, Mosby testified, a reporter contacted her about the tax lien. She said she confronted her husband and later heard him on the phone with several people, including Joseph Haskins Jr., one of the founders and former CEO of Harbor Bank, about getting a loan.
She said she believed that he’d taken care of their tax issues before she bought a condominium in 2021 in Longboat Key, Florida, on the state’s southwestern Gulf Coast.
The government asserts that Mosby sent a letter to the mortgage company that falsely claimed that her husband had agreed to gift her $5,000 so she could close on the condo and lock in an interest rate. Bank records, though, reveal that she provided him with the money.
Mosby reiterated that her husband had agreed to gift her $5,000, but that she wired him money just in case he did not have enough at closing.
On redirect examination, Federal Public Defender James Wyda, one of Mosby’s attorneys, inquired whether she was comfortable going forward with the home-buying process without help. She said no.
“Miss Mosby, you’ve been testifying for two days. Is this hard?” Wyda asked.
“Extremely hard,” Mosby responded. “It’s hard on me and my girls.”
Because she decided to testify, the jury learned that Mosby was found guilty of two counts of perjury in 2023 related to her withdrawal of $90,000 from a retirement account pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. She used that money to purchase the home and condo.
Her ex-husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, a Democrat who’s seeking reelection, testified that he repeatedly lied about resolving their outstanding tax debt to spare her from an additional life stress.
Later, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Delaney called one witness on rebuttal: FBI forensic accountant Jenna Bender.
Delaney asked Bender how many wire transfers she saw from Marilyn Mosby to Nick Mosby between January 2014 and March 2021.
“One,” Bender replied.
“What was it?” Delaney asked.
“It was a wire transfer on Feb. 12, 2021,” Bender responded, “in the amount of $5,000.”