Baltimore prosecutor maintains innocence after being charged with perjury by reuters

(Reuters) – Baltimore's top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, said on Friday she was innocent, a day after she was charged with perjury and making false loan applications in connection with the purchase of two Florida vacation homes.

Mosby, who was elected prosecutor in 2015, said she was the victim of a "ploy" by political opponents trying to unseat her and was determined to "fight with every ounce in my being and clear my name".

"I am here before you today to state unequivocally that I am innocent," she said in a 10-minute statement to reporters as she stifled tears. She did not ask any questions at the end.

Mosby, 41, is accused of twice falsely claiming to have suffered a work-related financial hardship through COVID-19 in order to make two early withdrawals totaling 90.requesting $ 000 from her pension account for municipal employees.

Prosecutors said Mosby used the money he received – 36.000 US dollars in May 2020 and 45.000 US dollars on 31. December this year – for down payments on vacation homes in Kissimmee and Long Boat Key.

The two perjury cases stem from Mosby's allegedly false statements about financial hardships related to coronavirus at a time when she had a gross annual salary of nearly 248.000 U.S. dollars earned in full, the indictment states.

She is also accused of making false statements on mortgage applications in two cases involving loans totaling more than 900.000 U.S. dollars to purchase the Florida properties were sought. The indictment states that Mosby failed to disclose federal tax delinquencies, resulting in a lien of 45.000 U.S. dollars, which was imposed by the Internal Revenue Service in 2020.

Mosby denied both allegations, saying, "I didn't defraud anyone to take my money out of my retirement plan, and I didn't lie on any mortgage applications."

Baltimore television station WBAL-TV quoted Mosby's attorney A. Scott Bolden in a media interview, saying that his client had other business interests, including a travel company affected by the pandemic, and that she consulted with financial advisors before making the mortgage application.

According to Mosby, prosecutors declined her offer to personally present evidence on her own behalf to the grand jury that eventually indicted her.

Mosby said political opponents have "had a target on my back" since she made national headlines in 2015 by filing criminal charges against six police officers for the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who suffered a fatal spinal injury while being transported Back of a Police Car. None of the six officers charged in his death has been convicted.

Mosby ran as part of a movement of "progressive prosecutors" who promised to address systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system.

U.S. Attorney Erek Barron, a former state delegate nominated to his post by President Joe Biden, has refused to comment on the case, according to the independent, nonpartisan news site Maryland Matters.

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