McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were charged this week in a
14-count indictment with accepting bribes from the chief executive
of a dietary supplements maker, Star Scientific Inc.
The pair are scheduled to make an initial appearance and be
arraigned in federal court, a court filing shows.
McDonnell — who left office this month and was once seen as a
potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016 — and his wife
are alleged to have accepted gifts that included cash, golf fees and
clothing, the grand jury indictment said. In exchange, they arranged
for Star Scientific executives to meet government officials who
could help their business, it said.
The McDonnells, both 59, have denied the charges. If convicted, the
couple could face decades in prison and fines totaling well over $1
The indictment portrays McDonnell and his wife, a former cheerleader
for the National Football League's Washington Redskins, as short on
money and unable to pay the bills for beachfront houses they owned
but were renting out.
The relationship with Star Scientific founder and Chief Executive
Jonnie Williams began when Wiliams lent his private jet to McDonnell
during his 2009 campaign for governor, the indictment said.
The McDonnells got more than $135,000 in direct payments as gifts
and loans, as well as thousands of dollars more in golf outings, the
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Gifts to the couple and their family ranged from a $6,500 Rolex
watch for McDonnell, to wedding and engagement presents and money
for his daughters and a $15,000 shopping spree for the first lady.
The indictment also alleges the couple attempted to conceal the
gifts from Williams and failed to disclose loans from him.
McDonnell said in July he had repaid $120,000 in loans from
Williams, who resigned last month as Star Scientific's CEO.
Current Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has imposed a $100
limit on gifts to him, his family or members of his administration.
(Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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