It’s been a lousy spring for Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s rogue prosecutor.
First, the IRS placed a tax lien for $45,000 on her house for three years of unpaid taxes.
Second, Baltimore’s Office of the Inspector General conducted a wide-ranging investigation into her activist-sponsored travel, accounting irregularities, and unorthodox gift-acceptance practices, and issued a written report critical of her actions.
When Mosby criticized the inspector general’s report, the Office of the Inspector General didn’t back down, and wrote that it “stands behind its report.”
Third, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland launched a wide-ranging investigation into Mosby’s campaign-finance irregularities and related federal tax issues.
Any one of these three actions could result in Mosby having to vacate her office, losing her law license, or, if indicted and convicted in federal court, even going to prison.
Before any of those actions happen, however, any investigations must be thoroughly completed.
But given the evidence already in the record about Mosby related to these three investigations, and her abysmal track record as Baltimore’s chief prosecutor, one has to wonder whether the Democratic Party in Baltimore will distance itself from Mosby, just like the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee has refused to stand behind Philadelphia’s rogue district attorney, Larry Krasner, in his re-election campaign.
Rogue Prosecutors Are Failing
The rogue prosecutor movement, starting with Kim Foxx of Chicago back in 2016, is the brainchild of leftist financier George Soros and tech billionaires.
Soros—with the help of his myriad political action committees, heavily funded organizations, and leftist academics—has provided the infrastructure to recruit, fund, elect, and defend rogue prosecutors.
The mainstream media—not keen on reporting on spikes in crime in the cities of rogue district attorneys and how crime usually affects minority communities the most—are more comfortable parroting platitudinous slogans such as “mass incarceration,” “reimagining prosecution,” and “systemic racism,” which criticize the current criminal justice system.
In the process, they are ignoring the fact that rogue district attorneys are wreaking havoc in cities where they have been elected.
Fortunately, some are starting to wake up to the reality that the policies of these rogue prosecutors are dangerous. George Gascon and Chesa Boudin, the rogue prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, are facing recall efforts because their pro-criminal, anti-victim policies have directly resulted in spikes in crime in their cities.
Krasner, the Philadelphia rogue district attorney, lost the support of the city’s Democratic Party in his upcoming reelection campaign. This is only the second time in 45 years that the Democratic Party refused to endorse an incumbent for citywide election.
Bostonians are suffering under Rachael Rollins, the rogue district attorney who proudly refuses to prosecute 15 crimes passed by the Massachusetts legislature, claiming that she has “data” and “science” to prove that not enforcing the law reduces crime.
There is one recent “study” on the topic that focuses on Boston’s approach, which to our knowledge has not yet been peer-reviewed. However, similar claims of other studies in areas such as bail reform have been called into question when examined and closely scrutinized.
The stark reality is that residents of the rogue prosecutors’ cities are starting to wake up to the reality that their “reform-minded” district attorneys are not really reforming the system for the better, but are instead coddling criminals, shunning victims, and shirking their duties to enforce the laws and seek justice in each case for which they are responsible.
In Chicago, as we pointed out, you have a greater chance of being killed on any given weekend than you had if you were deployed as an American soldier to Iraq or Afghanistan during the height of combat action.
Apparently, however, Chicago’s rogue prosecutor Foxx had more important things on her mind. After all, she appears to have been more concerned with giving a sweetheart deal to actor Jussie Smollett, who fabricated his own assault and filed a false police report, than she was about addressing the actual carnage on the streets of the Windy City.
It doesn’t take much to see that Gascon, Boudin, Krasner, Rollins, and all of their ilk have been disasters in the performance of their official duties, in large part because they have followed the rogue prosecutor playbook of treating defendants as victims and the police as the enemy, while ignoring real victims.
Still, Mosby remains in a league of her own because of her eyebrow-raising behavior both in her official and personal capacities.
Mosby’s $45,000 Federal Tax Lien
A federal tax lien is nothing to laugh about.
According to the IRS, a federal tax lien is “the government’s legal claim against your property when you neglect or fail to pay a tax debt.” Nobody likes to pay taxes, but most people do so because it’s a legal obligation.
If there’s a dispute between what the government says you owe, and what you think you owe, there are ways to work that out.
The IRS sends debtors notices of their deficiency. Mosby and her husband, a member of the Baltimore City Council, most certainly have received proper notice of the money they owe the government.
According to tax experts, if you ignore the notices from the IRS, the IRS Automated Collection System can issue liens and levy bank accounts and wages.
Furthermore, when the IRS files a public tax lien, that alerts creditors about your tax debt, which makes it difficult to sell your property or borrow against it.
Finally, if you owe the feds more than $51,000 and the IRS has tried unsuccessfully to get you to pay, the IRS can label you a “seriously delinquent” taxpayer, and the State Department can restrict your passport by either not allowing you to travel abroad, not granting a passport, or not renewing an expiring passport until you are removed from the “seriously delinquent” list.
As we discuss below, the tax lien could create other legal complications for Mosby, since she and her husband recently purchased two homes in Florida, and she traveled abroad extensively on privately funded junkets with fellow rogue prosecutors, as detailed by the Office of the Inspector General.
The Inspector General’s Investigation and Report
- Unauthorized Travel
Under Title 5, Section 5-601 of the Maryland Public Ethics Law, certain government officials and candidates are required to file financial disclosures each year on or before April 30, covering the calendar year immediately preceding the year of filing.
This practice, common to both federal and state governments, ensures that key government officials are transparent about their financial dealings, have no actual or perceived conflicts of interest, are in compliance with applicable ethics rules, and are honest public servants.
The Baltimore City State’s Attorney is one of those select government officials required to file an annual financial disclosure.
Last July 16, the Baltimore Brew, a news outlet, published a lengthy story about Mosby’s domestic and international trips, the months she was absent from the office, and her unorthodox spending and gift practices.
As a result, Mosby requested that Baltimore’s Office of the Inspector General investigate the information she disclosed to the Maryland State Ethics Commission for years 2018-2019 in an effort to disprove allegations of questionable conduct contained in the Baltimore Brew article.
Mosby, who later retained legal counsel, provided the inspector general with access to her work calendars, personal bank and credit card statements, office credit card records, her telephone records from 2018-2019, her work emails, hotel and flight information related to her trips, and her 2019 redacted personal tax return. The inspector general requested her 2018 tax return, but Mosby did not provide it.
The inspector general found an additional sponsored trip that Mosby failed to report in 2019, to the five-star Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg, Virginia. The agenda for that junket included group events centered around “holistic health and wellness” and “spa and individual wellness coaching sessions.”
The trip took place immediately after her return to the United States from her junket to the African nation of Kenya, where she also stayed in a five-star resort.
The inspector general also needed clarification from Mosby regarding a two-day trip to Minnesota, where she spoke for 15 to 20 minutes and was joined by her husband (who also spoke at the conference) and children.
In total, Mosby took 24 trips in 2018-2019 and was physically absent from Baltimore for 85 days. The inspector general found that the “out-of-town trips did not comply with the relevant travel policies and procedures,” that Mosby didn’t request approval for any of her 24 trips, and that at least 15 of those trips required advance approval from the Board of Estimates. The board consists of several Baltimore elected officials that is responsible for formulating and executing the fiscal policy of the city.
During that time frame, there were 657 homicides, 685 rapes, and 52,965 property crimes in Baltimore.
- Undocumented Gifts
The inspector general also noted irregularities with respect to the 41 gifts that Mosby reported on her state financial-disclosure forms during 2018-2019.
For example, Mosby reported receiving 33 gifts from organizations and individuals in 2018, yet only reported the value ($1,111.02) of five of those gifts. The value of the remaining 28 gifts was listed as “unknown” or left blank.
According to the Baltimore Brew article, the gifts included a Tiffany bracelet, circus tickets, skin care products, flowers, and other goodies, including $188 worth of “select CBD Drops, disposable pen, patch and capsules” by a marijuana company in Portland, Oregon.
Mosby claimed, in emails to the inspector general, that the “majority of gifts the State’s Attorney has received and reported are donated to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office during our Winter Solstice celebration.”
When asked by the inspector general for documentation to substantiate the reported gifts, Mosby provided no documentation. The inspector general compared the list of items donated for the Winter Solstice auctions in 2018 and 2019, and not only was Mosby not listed as a donor, but nothing on either auction list matched any gift listed on Mosby’s 2018 or 2019 state financial disclosures.
Based on the public record, we don’t know whether Mosby donated those items to anyone, or whether she kept them, or whether she reported them on her federal and state tax forms if she kept them.
- Family Business Disclosures
Four years after she was first sworn into office, Mosby registered three business entities with the state of Maryland: Mahogany Elite Enterprises LLC, Mahogany Elite Travel, and Mahogany Elite Consulting.
The inspector general found that Mosby did not report her ownership of these companies on her 2019 financial-disclosure form. While none of these companies produced any revenue, according to Mosby’s 2019 personal tax return, they did incur $5,000 in expenses for business travel and legal and professional services.
Those companies have no employees, contractors, or clients.
The inspector general concluded that it was “not within the purview of the OIG to make a determination” as to whether Mosby complied with Maryland’s state ethics laws and deferred the matter to Maryland’s State Ethics Commission for further review.
The Federal Investigation
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has launched a wide-ranging investigation into Mosby’s activities and has requested campaign records dating back to 2014, as well as tax returns, loan documents, and credit card statements.
Several Baltimore pastors have also received subpoenas to determine whether Mosby’s husband, Nick, ever lied about donating to a church and falsely writing it off on his tax returns.
Mosby’s attorney, A. Scott Bolden, issued a statement assuring Baltimore residents that the couple has “done nothing illegal, inappropriate or unlawful.”
To be clear, just because the government investigates someone, doesn’t mean that a crime has been committed. After all, everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Still, the optics are terrible for Mosby, and the fact that the federal prosecutor’s office has its sights trained on her is serious business, especially since her ability to cooperate with federal authorities in tackling Baltimore’s well-known crime problem is likely to be hampered by it.
Last month, the Baltimore Sun reported that Mosby bought two Florida homes for more than $1 million. Shockingly, one of the properties closed days before her campaign began setting up her legal defense fund.
According to the financial report, Mosby bought a condominium in Sarasota for $476,000 in February. The rogue prosecutor also paid $545,000 in September for a 4,000-square-foot property near Orlando’s Disney World.
How she and her husband, both government employees, were able to afford two homes in Florida, especially when the feds have a $45,000 tax lien on their primary residence, will no doubt be one of the things that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will investigate.
Baltimore Can Do Better
Perhaps all of these investigations will result in nothing.
We are hearing that Mosby may be in the process of satisfying the federal tax lien on her house. That’s good news, but why was it there in the first place? This isn’t something that just happened.
The U.S. Attorney’s office will, at some point, decide whether there is enough information to take legal action against Mosby, criminal or civil in nature.
As the city’s top prosecutor, charged with enforcing the law as written, protecting the public, and lowering crime rates, Mosby has been a failure, just like all the other rogue prosecutors.
In 2020, even though the FBI crime statistics aren’t yet available, news outlets report that there were 335 homicides in Baltimore. And even though some violent crimes in Baltimore fell compared to 2019, the 2019 numbers for violent crime resulted in Baltimore being one of the most dangerous cities in the United States.
Whether the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee or the Democratic Party of Maryland will decide not to endorse Mosby for reelection next time, as the party has done in Philadelphia regarding Krasner, remains to be seen. But one has to think that there are dozens of highly qualified prosecutors in Baltimore who could—and would—do a much better job than Mosby.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal.