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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The other shoe drops

Turned out Virginia Republicans didn't have to wait long:
Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were charged Tuesday with illegally accepting gifts, luxury vacations and large loans from a wealthy Richmond-area businessman who sought special treatment from state government. 
Authorities alleged that for nearly two years, the McDonnells hit up executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. again and again, lodging near constant requests for large loans, clothes, trips, golf accessories and private plane rides. 
In exchange, authorities allege, the McDonnells worked in concert to lend the prestige of the governorship to Williams’ struggling company, a small former cigarette manufacturer that now sells dietary supplements. 
They said the first couple arranged access for the CEO to top state officials, allowed the historic governor’s mansion to be used for a launch party for his company’s new non-FDA approved pill and attended events designed to boost the company’s prestige with university scientists who might research the company’s product. 
The two were charged with 14 felony counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, obtaining property under color of their official office and conspiring to the do the same.
They were also charged with making false statements to a federal credit union. 
McDonnell was also charged with making a false statement to another financial institution, and Maureen McDonnell was charged with obstructing the investigation. 
...The threat of indictment had loomed over the final months of his four year term, which ended with the inauguration of Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Jan. 11. Though Boente had informed McDonnell in December that he intended to pursue charges, McDonnell made a final appeal to top Department of Justice officials in Washington and no action was taken until 10 days after he left office.

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