Former Virginia Governor, Wife Face Corruption Charges

A 14-count indictment says the couple accepted more than $135,000 in gifts and loans.

Outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, wait in the old Senate Chambers prior to the inauguration of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at the Capitol in Richmond, Va.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted on charges including conspiracy and wire fraud.

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted Tuesday on corruption charges stemming from an investigation into gifts they received from a donor.

[FLASHBACK: Bob McDonnell Responds to FBI Probe]

The Republican couple was indicted on 14 counts, including fraud, conspiracy and making false statements to a federal credit union, according to The Associated Press. Altogether, McDonnell and his wife accepted more than $135,000 in gifts, trips and other items from Jonnie Williams Sr., former chief executive officer of Star Scientific Inc., according to the indictment.

Among the gifts accepted were a "luxury shopping trip" of more than $19,000 for Maureen McDonnell, upwards of $2,000 for a round of golf and a $50,000 loan to McDonnell's wife, the indictment says.

 

McDonnell, who left his office this month, said in a statement he takes "full responsibility" for accepting gifts and loans, "all of which have been repaid with interest." But he insists he did nothing illegal for Williams in return for the gifts, which he believed stemmed from "his personal generosity and friendship."

"I never promised – and Mr. Williams and his company never received – any government benefit of any kind from me or my Administration," McDonnell said in the statement. "We did not violate the law, and I will use every available resource and advocate I have for as long as it takes to fight these false allegations, and to prevail against this unjust overreach of the federal government."

[READ: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bob McDonnell]

In July, McDonnell first apologized for accepting gifts and said he had repaid more than $120,000 in gifts and loans.

Still, authorities allege McDonnell used his position as governor to "legitimize, promote, and obtain research studies for Star Scientific's products ... And as also detailed below, the defendants took steps throughout that time to conceal the scheme," the indictment says, according to Politico.

"Today's charges represent the Justice Department's continued commitment to rooting out public corruption at all levels of government," Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said in a statement. "Ensuring that elected officials uphold the public's trust is one of our most critical responsibilities."

A court appearance is scheduled for Friday in Richmond, Va., according to Reuters.

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