WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors Tuesday charged former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, with taking $120,000 in undocumented loans and numerous gifts from the owner of a dietary supplements business and helping the company promote its products to state officials.
The 43-page indictment includes page after page of alleged requests by the McDonnells, particularly Maureen McDonnell, for help in paying for vacations, a daughter's wedding, nearly $20,000 in designer dresses, a Rolex watch inscribed "71st Governor of Virginia" and numerous golf outings. The couple also allegedly asked for trips on the company's jet and, once, to use a $200,000 Ferrari.
Bob McDonnell denied any wrongdoing.
The lengthy investigation that preceded the charges was an embarrassment to the Republican Party in a key swing state and may have contributed to the election of a Democrat, Terry McAuliffe, as governor last year.
The McDonnells were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and other crimes. Maureen McDonnell was charged with obstruction for allegedly lying to investigators.
In a televised statement with his family at his side, Bob McDonnell denied the charges, saying he regretted accepting the gifts, which "all have been returned or repaid with interest."
McDonnell, once viewed as a rising star in the GOP, denied that the supplements company, Star Scientific, received special treatment. "I did nothing illegal," he said.
Jonnie Williams, the company's chief executive, was not charged. He was referred to in the indictment only as "JW."