Thursday, November 26, 2015   

US official and spouse charged over graft, fraud
(01-22 10:59)

A former US state governor once talked of as a Republican vice presidential pick was indicted for corruption Tuesday, charged with procuring loans and luxury gifts in exchange for favors.
Ex-governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell, who led the state from 2010 until January 11, and wife Maureen were charged with 14 felony counts, including wire fraud and receiving property based on their official duties, AFP reports.
Authorities said the couple repeatedly turned to businessman Jonnie Williams Sr. seeking loans, clothes, trips and private plane rides.
Then, federal prosecutors said, the pair conspired to try and help Williams' business, a former cigarette maker that now sells dietary supplements.
McDonnell apologized for what he called his own “bad judgment,'' and said he took full responsibility but insisted he had done nothing against Virginia law by accepting gifts.
“I deeply regret accepting legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest, and I have apologized for my poor judgment,'' the former governor told The Washington Post.
“However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship.''
The McDonnells in 2010 sought according to prosecutors, the help of Williams, then head of Nasdaq-traded Star Scientific.
The couple conspired, authorities charge, “to secretly use [his] official position as Governor of Virginia to enrich the defendants and their family members by soliciting and accepting payments, loans, gifts, and other things of value from JW and Star Scientific in exchange for (McDonnell and his office) performing official actions on an as-needed basis, as opportunities arose, to legitimize, promote, and obtain research studies for Star Scientific's products.''
Before the couple's daughter wed, Williams shelled out US$11,000 at Oscar de la Renta and US$5,685 at Louis Vuitton, for Mrs McDonnell's shoes and a handbag.
Her husband received a Rolex engraved with the words “71st governor of Virginia.'' In total, the couple received at least US$140,000 in luxury gifts.
The scandal enveloped McDonnell, who previously had a squeaky-clean reputation. The 59-year-old was on the shortlist to become running-mate for Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012.

Other World breaking news:
Deluge causes chaos in Saudi Arabia and Qatar (11-25 21:20)
Turkish embassy suffers egg attack (11-25 20:44)
Moscow ships new missiles to Syria (11-25 20:39)
Syria rescues Russian fighter pilot (11-25 20:32)
Russia a friend and an important partner, says Turkey PM (11-25 20:31)
Russia takes aim at Turkey for ‘planned provocation’ in shooting down fighter jet (11-25 20:23)
Belgium insists on ID check for hospital services (11-25 19:09)
France deploys 120,000 troops for climate talks (11-25 17:30)
Woman pastor of secretive US church accused in teen’s death (11-25 16:53)
Reluctant Japan prodded to open doors to refugees (11-25 16:40)

More breaking news >>

© 2015 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.