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January 2014


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Ex-Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and his Wife Are Indicted in Alleged Public Corruption Scheme

By Allan Lengel

As expected, former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, once mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate,  and his wife Maureen, were charged Tuesday in a 14-count indictment for allegedly taking gifts and cash in exchange for improperly helping a businessman.

Authorities in Eastern District of Virginia alleged in the indictment that from April 2011 through March 2013, the McDonnells schemed 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, a press release said.

McDonnell denied wrongdoing, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Authorities allege that 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 scheme, Robert McDonnell arranged meetings for JW with Virginia government officials. McDonnell also hosted and attended events at the Governor’s Mansion that encouraged Virginia university researchers to initiate studies of Star’s products and to promote Star’s products to doctors for referral to their patients.

“Public officials hold positions of trust and must accept the transparency and accountability that our laws require and their constituents expect,” said IRS-CI Chief Richard Weber in a statement. “IRS-CI stands committed to investigating those officials. This case should serve as a strong warning to those who might consider similar behavior. No one is above the law and everyone is accountable for their misdeeds.”


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