Feds Plan to Ask to Seize Marilyn Mosby's Florida Condo

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

Democrats have been working overtime in New York in an effort to seize Donald Trump's commercial and private property, including his estate at Mar-a-Lago. Thus far those efforts have come up short, but they may have inadvertently given others some ideas that could come back to bite one of their own. In Baltimore, former State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby is facing sentencing on a variety of charges ranging from perjury to fraud, including the fraudulent use of pandemic relief funds to buy luxury real estate holdings in Florida. On Friday, federal prosecutors in the case filed a motion asking the court to allow them to seize one of Mosby's vacation condos there as partial payment for the fines she will be expected to pay. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. (Baltimore Sun)

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Federal prosecutors filed notice Friday that they will ask to seize former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s Florida vacation condo on the same day as her sentencing on perjury and mortgage fraud charges.

The government indicated early on in the case that it would seek forfeiture. Friday’s filing formalizes prosecutors’ request and sets up the possibility of a legal fight over the condo at Mosby’s May 23 sentencing.

The government intends to sell the condo, according to the motion, which Mosby bought in February 2021 for $476,000. If there are profits from the sale, Mosby would get back her $47,600 down payment, prosecutors wrote.

As we previously discussed, Mosby has publicly called on Joe Biden to issue her a pardon so she can avoid all of this trouble. Unfortunately for her, Biden appears to have more than enough problems on his own plate at the moment. Overriding a series of lawful convictions in a case of official corruption and fraud probably wouldn't do much for his already plummeting poll numbers. In past cases of officials being prosecuted and receiving stiff financial penalties, the debt has typically followed them around once they were released from prison. That was the case with Rod Blagojevich, one of four of the past ten Illinois governors who wound up going to jail. He was hit with some hefty fines, but the court didn't wind up taking his property.

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Perhaps we'll be seeing more of this in the future, however. This happens more often than some might think. There are three types of asset forfeiture available to the courts. These are described as criminal forfeiture, civil judicial forfeiture, and administrative forfeiture. Mosby would be facing criminal forfeiture, while Donald Trump is being threatened with civil judicial forfeiture in the hush money case. The courts are able to either seize the title to your property or order banks and other financial institutions to place a hold on your financial assets so you are unable to access them.

I suppose an action like this could send a message to other public officials and would likely be seen as justice being served in Mosby's case. But it still doesn't address the more important, underlying question. How is it that we keep ending up with public officials who violate the trust of the voters and seek to line their own pockets illegally? This is particularly problematic in Baltimore, where a series of mayors and City Council members have wound up in handcuffs. We are currently only a couple of weeks away from the city's mayoral primary, which winds up being effectively the same as the general election. The latest polling shows that former Mayor Sheila Dixon is running neck-and-neck in her bid to return to office. 

This is the same Sheila Dixon who was driven from office and only barely avoided prison time after being convicted of fraud, theft, and criminal misappropriation. (She was sentenced to four years probation in a sweetheart plea deal.) And now the voters of Baltimore appear to be poised to potentially put her back in office. There is the answer to the question above. We keep winding up with politicians going on trial for criminal activity because we keep electing the same pack of criminals over and over again. Who is really to blame here... the politicians or the voters?

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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