Former Virginia Governor and Former First Lady Indicted on Public Corruption and Related Charges
"An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."
January 21, 2014
RICHMOND—A federal grand today 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.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mythili Raman, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Jeffrey C. Mazanec, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; Richard Weber, Chief of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, made the announcement.
The indictment, returned in the Eastern District of Virginia, charges Robert McDonnell and Maureen McDonnell, both 59 and of Glen Allen, Virginia, with one count of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud; three counts of honest-services wire fraud; one count of conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right; six counts of obtaining property under color of official right; and one count of making false statements to a federal credit union. Robert McDonnell is also charged with an additional count of making a false statement to a financial institution, and Maureen McDonnell is charged with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.
“I thank the Assistant U.S. Attorneys, FBI, Virginia State Police, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation for their exceptional efforts in the investigation of this case,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Boente. “We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute public corruption.”
“Today’s charges represent the Justice Department’s continued commitment to rooting out public corruption at all levels of government,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman. “Ensuring that elected officials uphold the public’s trust is one of our most critical responsibilities.”
“One of the most important investigative responsibilities with which the FBI is tasked is ensuring that the integrity of our elected public officials has not been compromised,” said FBI SAC Mazanec. “The Richmond Division of the FBI and our law enforcement partners have diligently worked this lengthy, detailed, and sensitive matter. I want to thank all those who have worked very hard and with great care on this investigation.”
“The state police and FBI agents assigned to this case have devoted an extensive amount of time and effort to this matter,” said Colonel Flaherty. “They are to be commended for their professionalism, objectivity, and dedication to duty in conducting this highly complex and sensitive investigation.”
“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 Weber. “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.”
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®.