RICHMOND, VA – Former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia – who made a campaign stop 2 years ago in Mason City – was convicted Thursday of multiple counts of corruption, including bribery, extortion.
According to ABC News, witnesses in the courtroom described the McDonnell family “as sobbing and hysterical” as thy were found guilty on 11 of 14 charges against them.
A federal grand in January returned a 14-count indictment against former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell and former First Lady Maureen G. McDonnell for allegedly participating in a scheme to violate federal public corruption laws. The McDonnells are said to have received tens-of-thousands in gifts and favors for helping promote a wealthy businessman’s supplement business.
According to the indictment, from April 2011 through March 2013, the McDonnells participated in a scheme to use the former governor’s official position to enrich themselves and their family members by soliciting and obtaining payments, loans, gifts and other things of value from Star Scientific, a Virginia-based corporation, and “JW,” then Star Scientific’s chief executive officer. The McDonnells obtained the things of value in exchange for the former governor performing official actions on an as-needed basis to legitimize, promote and obtain research studies for Star’s products, including the dietary supplement Anatabloc.
As alleged in the indictment, the McDonnells obtained from JW more than $135,000 in direct payments as gifts and loans, thousands of dollars in golf outings, and numerous other things of value. As part of the alleged scheme, the official actions that Robert McDonnell performed included arranging meetings for JW with Virginia government officials, hosting and attending events at the Governor’s Mansion designed to encourage Virginia university researchers to initiate studies of Star’s products and to promote Star’s products to doctors for referral to their patients, contacting other Virginia government officials as part of an effort to encourage Virginia state research universities to initiate studies of Star’s products, and promoting Star’s products and facilitating its relationships with Virginia government officials.
A sentencing hearing is set for January, 2015.