Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City State’s attorney, has filed another motion to dismiss the Federal case against her. Mrs. Mosby is accused of lying to access retirement funds and then lying to the mortgage company about her residency to save on the down payment on a Florida home she purchased with the money she withdrew.
Mrs. Mosby’s defense team includes Washington lawyers that are offering their services to her pro bono and they have decided that the phrase “adverse financial consequences” in the CARES Act is so ambiguous that the charges should be dismissed. The following is reprinted from the CARES Act showing the phrase in question in bold:
- Waives the 10% tax penalty for early distributions from IRAs, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and 457(b) plans if:
- The individual, their spouse, or their dependent has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
- The individual experienced adverse financial consequences because they were quarantined, furloughed, or laid off, or because their employer reduced their working hours;
- The individual experienced adverse financial consequences because the individual is unable to work due to lack of child care.
- A plan administrator is allowed to rely on the participant’s assertion that one of these events occurred.
This defense motion infers that she did what the Federal charges says she did but the case should be dismissed because no one knows what “adverse financial consequences” actually means. It is the “I did it” defense but you must dismiss all charges on a technicality that hinges on the meaning of “adverse financial consequences.” It’s a laughable defense. Everyone knows what that phrase means. It means one is in a financial jam and needs money.
It is another “Hail Mary” defense motion like the first one that claimed Mrs. Mosby was being prosecuted due to racial and political bias, a claim she repeated nationally on MSNBC. The judge dismissed the first motion because there was no proof to support her claims and the judge is likely to dismiss this motion on the basis that those three words are far from arbitrary.
All a person had to do to get the money penalty-free was attest (swear) to one of the three conditions. One did not have to have Covid to get the money but one had to attest to need. As you can see from the actual wording, the plan administrator did not need proof. It was an honor system. It’s similar to the one when you sign a mortgage application swearing that you are going to live in that house to avoid a large down payment of 20%. That is what Mrs. Mosby did next. She lied on the mortgage application and there is a paper trail to prove both lies. Also, there is a phone recording of her lying to the mortgage company about how much she has enjoyed living in their new house in Florida for the past 70 days, the house without the 20% down payment because she swore she would be occupying the house.
That is precisely why Mrs. Mosby faces two counts of perjury. She lied about the financial need to avoid an $8,000 penalty on the $80,000 she withdrew from her retirement account and then she lied on the mortgage application regarding her occupancy to save thousands on the down payment. It is a pattern of deceit for a public official making $249,000 per year of the taxpayer’s money to claim financial hardship.
The rules for the CARES Act were created to stop someone from doing precisely what Mrs. Mosby did. The CARES Act was trying to help people with financial need, not financial want. Mrs. Mosby gamed the system by lying and profiting from those lies. The government’s case is solid but Mrs. Mosby has refused to accept her fate and work out a plea bargain.
If Mrs. Mosby had accepted her guilt earlier and worked out a plan for restitution, she may have avoided time in a Club Fed type of prison. But after accusing the Feds of racism, I think that moment has passed.
Unless Mrs. Mosby makes a deal, we will have a trial/election circus coming to town in September. It would not surprise me if Mrs. Mosby won the election and lost at the trial.
Our beloved city will be ridiculed once again because of our elected officials.
Dudley Thompson lives in Girdletree, MD., population 106. He was born, raised, and lived most of his life in Baltimore. He worked for the News-American on the advertising side until it closed in ‘86. His second career was teaching in juvenile jails for the Maryland State Department of Education. He holds a Masters in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University, ‘77, and a B.A from the University of Maryland,’74.