Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Convicted On 11 Counts Of Corruption

Bob Maureen McDonnellAPBob and Maureen McDonnell

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted on Thursday of multiple counts of corruption, fraud, and bribery, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

A federal jury in Richmond returned the verdict Thursday after a five-week trial and deliberating for three days. U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer set sentencing for Jan. 6.

McDonnell was widely considered a possible running mate for presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. He was charged with doing favours for a wealthy vitamin executive in exchange for more than $US165,000 in gifts and loans. The 14 counts stemmed from their acceptance of gifts, luxury vacations, and large loans from then Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr.

In exchange, federal authorities said, McDonnell would, “as opportunities arose, legitimise, promote, and obtain research studies for Star Scientific’s products.”

The resulting trial was an at times embarrassing display for the former governor and his wife. Bob McDonnell’s defence team argued that Maureen was the mastermind behind the scheme. They painted the McDonnells’ marriage as crumbling, suggesting at times she was mentally ill and had a “crush” on Williams.

Both Bob and Maureen bowed heads and wept as a chorus of “guiltys” kept coming from court clerk. Bob McDonnell was found guilty on counts 1-11. His wife was found guilty on counts 1-3, 5-8, 10, and 14.

Here, from the AP, are the allegations involved in each count:

Count One: Accused the McDonnells of conspiracy, specifically of conspiring to defraud the voters of Virginia of the honest services they were due from the governor’s office. It alleged that McDonnell and the governor’s office provided “favourable official action” for Star Scientific as opportunities arose, including arranging meetings for Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams with state officials, and hosting an event at the governor’s mansion designed to encourage university researchers to conduct studies on the active ingredient in Star’s tobacco-based health supplement, Anatabloc. In exchange, the McDonnells allegedly enriched themselves by receiving more than $US165,000 in gifts and loans.

Count Two: Accused the McDonnells of committing honest services fraud, not just conspiring to do so. It relates specifically to a $US15,000 check from the Williams-controlled Starwood Trust to a catering company in May 2011 that paid costs associated with the wedding of the McDonnells’ daughter Cailin.

Count Three: Accused the McDonnells of honest services fraud and relates specifically to a $US50,000 loan check in March 2012 from Williams, via Starwood Trust, to MoBo Real Estate Partners, a joint venture between Bob McDonnell and his sister in which they rented out vacation homes in Virginia Beach.

Count Four: Accused the McDonnells of honest services fraud and relates to a second loan check for $US20,000 in May 2012 from Starwood to MoBo.

Count Five: Accused the McDonnells of conspiring to obtain property under colour of official right, meaning they used the governor’s office to obtain things that McDonnell was not due to receive as governor. Like the other conspiracy count, it is not linked to a specific item the McDonnells received.

Count Six: Accused the McDonnells of obtaining property under colour of official right, and relates to a $US50,000 loan from Williams, via Starwood Trust, to Maureen McDonnell in May 2011.

Count Seven: Accused the McDonnells of obtaining property under colour of official right and relates to the $US15,000 catering check Williams wrote, via Starwood, for Cailin McDonnell’s wedding.

Count Eight: Accused the McDonnells of obtaining property under colour of official right and relates to $US2,380 in greens fees, food and merchandise from a golf outing that Bob McDonnell, his two sons, and a future son-in-law took at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot on Williams’ tab.

Count Nine: Accused the McDonnells of obtaining property under colour of official right and relates to $US1,424 in greens fees, caddie fees, dining expenses and merchandise at Kinloch paid for by Williams.

Count 10: Accused the McDonnells of obtaining property under colour of official right and relates to a $US50,000 loan from Williams, via Starwood Trust, to MoBo.

Count 11: Accused the McDonnells of obtaining property under colour of official right and relates to the $US20,000 loan from Williams, via Starwood Trust, to MoBo.

Count 12: Accused Bob McDonnell, not his wife, of making a false statement to a financial institution by failing to disclose a $US50,000 loan from Williams on a loan application to TowneBank.

Count 13: Accused the McDonnells of making a false statement to a financial institution by failing to disclose the $US120,000 in loans they received from Jonnie Williams on a loan application to Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

Count 14: Accused Maureen McDonnell, not her husband, of obstructing a federal grand jury by returning to Williams the clothing he had purchased for her in New York City, along with a handwritten note suggesting they had a previous agreement that she would return the apparel so Williams could give it to his daughters or to charity.

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