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A former top prosecutor for the city of Baltimore will soon learn her sentence for lying about her personal finances so she could improperly access retirement funds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby appeared before a judge Thursday at a federal courthouse in Greenbelt, a Maryland suburb of the nation’s capital. Two juries separately convicted Mosby of perjury and mortgage fraud charges after trials involving her personal finances.

Mosby, 44, gained a national profile for charging six Baltimore police officers in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a Black man fatally injured in police custody. Gray’s death led to riots and protests in the city. After three officers were acquitted, Mosby’s office dropped charges against the other three officers.

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Mosby withdrew $90,000 from Baltimore city’s deferred compensation plan and used it to make down payments on vacation homes in Kissimmee and Long Boat Key, Florida.

Prosecutors argued that Mosby improperly accessed the funds under provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act by falsely claiming that the pandemic had harmed her travel-oriented side business.

Mosby’s sentencing argument said the retirement funds came from her own income and that no one was defrauded because she paid an early withdrawal penalty and all federal taxes on the money. The government said that money remained the property of the city until she was legally eligible, and her perjury harmed everyone who followed the rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mosby’s mortgage fraud conviction stems from a $5,000 “gift letter” she submitted when taking a loan to buy the Long Boat Key property. Prosecutors said the letter falsely stated that Mosby’s husband was giving her a $5,000 gift for the closing when it actually was her own money.

“Without the gift letter, the loan would never have been provided and Ms. Mosby would not have obtained the property. No gift letter, no loan,” prosecutors wrote.

Federal prosecutors also said she deserves prison because unlike others convicted of white-collar crimes, she’s expressed no remorse or contrition and has tried to delegitimize the case against her. They recommended a 20-month prison sentence for Mosby, who served two terms as state’s attorney for Baltimore. She lost a reelection bid after her 2022 indictment.

“Ms. Mosby was charged and convicted because she chose to repeatedly break the law, not because of her politics or policies,” prosecutors wrote.

Mosby’s attorneys urged the judge to spare her from prison. They said she is the only public official who has been prosecuted in Maryland for federal offenses “that entail no victim, no financial loss, and no use of public funds.”

“Jail is not justice for Marilyn Mosby,” her lawyers wrote.

Mosby applied for a presidential pardon earlier this month. In a letter to President Joe Biden, the Congressional Black Caucus expressed support for her cause, the Baltimore Sun reported.


A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that authorities do not have to provide a quick hearing when they seize cars and other property used in drug crimes, even when the property belongs to so-called innocent owners.

By a 6-3 vote, the justices rejected the claims of two Alabama women who had to wait more than a year for their cars to be returned. Police had stopped the cars when they were being driven by other people and, after finding drugs, seized the vehicles.

Civil forfeiture allows authorities to take someone’s property, without having to prove that it has been used for illicit purposes. Critics of the practice describe it as “legalized theft.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for the conservative majority that a civil forfeiture hearing to determine whether an owner will lose the property permanently must be timely. But he said the Constitution does not also require a separate hearing about whether police may keep cars or other property in the meantime.

In a dissent for the liberal members of the court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that civil forfeiture is “vulnerable to abuse” because police departments often have a financial incentive to keep the property.

“In short, law enforcement can seize cars, hold them indefinitely, and then rely on an owner’s lack of resources to forfeit those cars to fund agency budgets, all without any initial check by a judge as to whether there is a basis to hold the car in the first place,” Sotomayor wrote.

The women, Halima Culley and Lena Sutton, filed federal lawsuits arguing they were entitled to a prompt court hearing that would have resulted in the cars being returned to them much sooner. There was no suggestion that either woman was involved in or knew anything about the illegal activity.

Sutton had loaned her car to a friend. Police in Leesburg, Alabama seized it when they arrested him for trafficking methamphetamine. Sutton ended up without her car for 14 months, during which she couldn’t find work, stay current with bills or keep her mental-health appointments, her lawyers wrote in court papers.

Culley had bought a car for her son to use at college. Police in Satsuma, Alabama stopped the car and found marijuana and a loaded hangun. They charged the son with marijuana possession and kept the car.

The Supreme Court decision means months or years of delay for people whose property is taken, said Kirby Thomas West, co-director of the National Initiative to End Forfeiture Abuse at the libertarian Institute for Justice.


A federal appeals court panel on Friday upheld the criminal conviction of Donald Trump’s longtime ally Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected Bannon’s challenges to his contempt of Congress conviction. Bannon had been sentenced to four months in prison, but the judge overseeing the case had allowed him to stay free pending appeal.

Bannon’s attorneys didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. His lawyers could ask the full D.C. appeals court to hear the matter.

The congressional committee sought Bannon’s testimony over his involvement in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Bannon had initially argued that his testimony was protected by Trump’s claim of executive privilege. But the House panel and the Justice Department contend such a claim is dubious because Trump had fired Bannon from the White House in 2017 and Bannon was thus a private citizen when he was consulting with the then-president in the run-up to the riot .

A second Trump aide, trade advisor Peter Navarro, was also convicted of contempt of Congress and reported to prison in March to serve his four-month sentence.


The Supreme Court will consider Monday whether banning homeless people from sleeping outside when shelter space is lacking amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

The case is considered the most significant to come before the high court in decades on homelessness, which has reached record levels in the United States.

In California and other Western states, courts have ruled that it’s unconstitutional to fine and arrest people sleeping in homeless encampments if shelter space is lacking.

A cross-section of Democratic and Republican officials contend that makes it difficult for them to manage encampments, which can have dangerous and unsanitary living conditions.

But hundreds of advocacy groups argue that allowing cities to punish people who need a place to sleep will criminalize homelessness and ultimately make the crisis worse as the cost of housing increases.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the court Monday morning with silver thermal blankets and signs like “housing not handcuffs.”

The Justice Department has also weighed in. It argues people shouldn’t be punished just for sleeping outside, but only if there’s a determination they truly have nowhere else to go.

The case comes from the rural Oregon town of Grants Pass, which started fining people $295 for sleeping outside to manage homeless encampments that sprung up in the city’s public parks as the cost of housing escalated.

The measure was largely struck down by the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which also found in 2018 that such bans violated the Eighth Amendment by punishing people for something they don’t have control over. The 9th Circuit oversees nine Western states, including California, which is home to about one-third of the nation’s homeless population.

The case comes after homelessness in the United States grew a dramatic 12%, to its highest reported level as soaring rents and a decline in coronavirus pandemic assistance combined to put housing out of reach for more Americans, according to federal data. The court is expected to decide the case by the end of June.


The Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with a decorated veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in a protracted fight with the government over 12 months of G.I. Bill educational benefits.

The court ruled 7-2 that the Department of Veterans Affairs improperly calculated the educational benefits for James Rudisill, a retired Army captain who lives in northern Virginia.

Rudisill, who’s now an FBI agent, is in a category of veterans who earned credit under two versions of the G.I. Bill. One version applied to people who served before the Sept. 11, 2001, attack. Congress passed new legislation after Sept. 11.

But Rudisill served both before and after the attack, including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Each program gives veterans 36 months of benefits, and there’s a 48-month cap. Rudisill thought he had 10 months of benefits remaining under the old program, plus another year in the new system. But the VA denied the additional year.

Rudisill said the decision forced him to give up his plan to attend Yale Divinity School, be ordained as an Episcopal priest and reenter the Army as a chaplain.

His lawyers said the decision could affect roughly 1.7 million veterans, but the VA disputed that the number is “anything close” to 1.7 million, noting that his lawyers didn’t identify any other cases that presented the same issue.


A former Georgia insurance commissioner who made a failed Republican run for governor has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud.

John W. Oxendine of Johns Creek entered the guilty plea Friday in federal court in Atlanta. The 61-year-old had been indicted in May 2022 on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, but Oxendine is likely to be sentenced to less. Federal sentencing guidelines discussed in the plea agreement suggest prosecutors will recommend Oxendine be imprisoned between 4 years, 3 months, and 5 years, 3 months, depending on what U.S. District Judge Steve Jones decides at a sentencing hearing set for July 12. Jones could also fine Oxendine and order him to serve supervised release.

Oxendine also agreed to pay nearly $700,000 in restitution to health insurers who lost money in the scheme, the plea document states. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the money laundering charge as part of the plea.

“John Oxendine, as the former statewide insurance commissioner, knew the importance of honest dealings between doctors and insurance companies,” U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said in a statement. “But for personal profit he willfully conspired with a physician to order hundreds of unnecessary lab tests, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Prosecutors say Oxendine conspired with Dr. Jeffrey Gallups to pressure other physicians who practiced with Gallups to order unnecessary medical tests from Next Health, a lab in Texas. Prosecutors said Oxendine pushed the plan in a September 2015 presentation to doctors who worked for Gallups’ practice.

The lab company, Oxendine and Gallups agreed the company would pay Gallups a kickback of 50% of the profit on the tests, Oxendine’s indictment said. Next Health paid $260,000 in kickbacks through Oxendine’s insurance consulting company, prosecutors said. Oxendine paid a $150,000 charitable contribution and $70,000 in attorney’s fees on Gallups,’ behalf, prosecutors said, keeping $40,000 for himself. Some patients were also charged, getting bills of up to $18,000 for the tests, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Oxendine told Gallups to lie and say the payments from Oxendine were loans when a compliance officer at Gallups’ company asked about them. Oxendine told Gallups to repeat the same lie when questioned by federal agents, prosecutors said. And they said Oxendine falsely said he didn’t work with the lab company or get money from Next Health when interviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


A federal appeals court on Friday reinstated bribery and fraud charges against former New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin.

The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan reversed a December 2022 ruling by a lower-court judge that wiped out the bulk of the case against the Democrat, leaving only records falsification charges.

The appeals court said in its written decision that a jury could infer from the alleged facts in the case that Benjamin promised to allocate $50,000 in state funds to a non-profit organization controlled by a real estate developer in return for campaign contributions from the developer.

“We conclude that the indictment sufficiently alleged an explicit quid pro quo,” the 2nd Circuit said. “Therefore, we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand for further proceedings.”

In an opinion written by Judge Steven J. Menashi, the three-judge panel concluded that Benjamin had fair warning that his alleged agreement with the developer “was illegal and that it would not become legal if he simply avoided memorializing it expressly in words or in writing.”

Benjamin’s lawyer, Barry Berke, noted in a statement that the tussle over the legal standard that applies to the allegations against his client came before a trial.

“Those allegations are false. The facts are clear that Mr. Benjamin did nothing other than engage in routine fundraising and support a non-profit providing needed resources to Harlem public schools, ”Berke said. “We remain confident that Mr. Benjamin will be vindicated in this case, which never should have been brought.”

A spokesperson for prosecutors declined comment.

Benjamin resigned as lieutenant governor after his April 2022 arrest. The arrest had created a political crisis for Gov. Kathy Hochul, a fellow Democrat who chose him to serve as second-in-command when she became governor following a sexual harassment scandal that drove from office her predecessor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

Benjamin was the state’s second Black lieutenant governor. During a state Legislature career that began in May 2017, he emphasized criminal justice reform and affordable housing. His district included most of central Harlem, where he was born and raised by Caribbean immigrant parents.

In tossing out the most serious charges in 2022, Judge J. Paul Oetken wrote that prosecutors failed to allege an explicit example in which Benjamin provided a favor for a bribe, an essential element of bribery and honest services fraud charges.

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