At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Marilyn Mosby decided that it was a good time to invest in real estate, prosecutors said.

Mosby, who was in her second term as Baltimore state’s attorney, searched for properties and settled on an eight-bedroom, six-bathroom home with a pool in Kissimmee, Florida, not far from Walt Disney World.

But Mosby did not disclose on a mortgage application that she owed federal taxes, prosecutors alleged, and that the Internal Revenue Service had obtained a more than $45,000 tax lien against her and her husband at the time. Though she signed a document certifying that she would use the house as a second home, she had already entered into a contract with a property management company, Executive Villas Florida.

Later, Mosby decided to buy a condominium in Longboat Key, Florida, and again did not disclose her tax debt on a mortgage application or report the existence of the lien, prosecutors asserted.

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She submitted one letter falsely claiming that she spent the last 70 days living in Florida, prosecutors reported, and another untruthfully asserting that her husband agreed to gift her $5,000 at closing.

“We are here because the defendant, Marilyn Mosby, the top prosecutor for the biggest city in Maryland, lied on applications for not one, but two different Florida vacation homes,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Delaney said in his opening statement in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt in her mortgage fraud trial.

Federal prosecutors began presenting their case on Monday against Mosby, a Democrat who served two terms as the city’s top prosecutor from 2015-2023, arguing that she’s a smart and sophisticated lawyer who knew exactly what she was doing when she filled out those two mortgage applications.

But Mosby’s attorneys contended that their client trusted and relied upon loved ones and licensed professionals to navigate a complex and unfamiliar process, acted in good faith and committed no crime.

“We rely on trust. It is as fundamental to human experience and existence as air and water,” Assistant Federal Public Defender Sedira Banan, one of Mosby’s attorneys, said in her opening statement. “Trust is the lifeblood of daily living, society and human relationships.”

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The case, she said, was not just about documents, applications, contracts, transactions and signatures. Mosby was not only an elected official with tremendous professional responsibilities, but a wife and a mother of two daughters, Banan said.

When it came to real estate, though, Mosby was a rookie. She trusted her husband to address their taxes, her real estate agent to find properties, and her mortgage broker to navigate the lending process, Banan said.

“We are here because the defense has placed trust in you, members of the jury, to listen critically and carefully to all of the evidence. We trust that you will get it right,” she said. “Marilyn Mosby is innocent.”

Prosecutors called two witnesses Monday.

IRS Supervisory Revenue Officer Matthew Lopes testified for hours about how the Mosbys owed federal taxes, which led to the agency filing a tax lien for $45,022 in 2020.

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Lopes said the service sent both her and her husband a letter through certified mail about the development.

Later, Mosby and her husband filed separate tax returns for 2019. She was supposed to receive a refund of $549, but the agency took that money and applied it toward their debt, Lopes testified.

In total, Lopes said, he estimated that the IRS sent them approximately 40 notices. He responded on cross-examination that the service neither has copies of all the notices nor confirmation that every one was delivered.

Next, Andrew Booth, president of Executive Villas Florida, testified that Mosby signed a contract in 2020 with the property management and vacation rental company for her home in Kissimmee.

Under the agreement, Booth said, the owner would have to prebook using a computerized reservation system to stay at the property.

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On cross-examination, Assistant Federal Public Defender Maggie Grace, one of Mosby’s attorneys, brought up how an employee of the company sent her client a presentation that stated that the business did not believe in contracts but partnerships.

Booth said the company did not have the exclusive ability to rent out the house. Executive Villas Florida, he said, later terminated its relationship with Mosby because she was “impossible to deal with” and a “nightmare.”

In 2023, Mosby was found guilty of two counts of perjury, with a jury determining that she lied to withdraw $90,000 that she otherwise would not have been able to access from a retirement account under a provision in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, and used that money for the down payments on the home and condo.

U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby has delayed sentencing until after the conclusion of the second trial. Mosby faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on each count, though people typically receive a punishment that’s far less.

Mosby, who turned 44 on Monday, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of making a false statement on a loan application.

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Her now ex-husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, a Democrat, is on the list of potential witnesses.

The trial is set to resume on Tuesday. The government indicated that it has four remaining witnesses and could finish presenting its case.