Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife Maureen were just indicted on federal corruption charges for taking $160,000 from a dietary supplement company they helped politically. The 43-page indictment documents the birth of a sugar daddy and the attempted coverup — these are the highlights.
A Private Jet
It all began when McDonnell was campaigning for governor in 2009.
In or about March 2009, as a result of requests from ROBERT MCDONNELL'S staff to JW, ROBERT MCDONNELL began using a jet aircraft owned by JW during his campaign for Governor of Virginia
JW is pharmaceutical entrepreneur Jonnie Williams, CEO of Star Scientific, a struggling dietary supplement manufacturer.
On or about October 3, 2010, JW agreed to let ROBERT MCDONNELL use JW's aircraft to fly from Richmond, Virginia, to Sacramento, California, for a political event. JW met ROBERT MCDONNNELL in Sacramento, California, and accompanied him on the return flights to Richmond.
On this trip, JW took the opportunity to promote Star Scientific's business interests, a conversation that continued after the private jet ride — Robert and Maureen began attending Star Scientific seminars. At one event, Robert praised the company's CigRx® product (see above image).
According to the indictment, Robert and Maureen attended a political event at the Four Seasons in New York in December 2009. While they were there, they met with JW.
During the meeting, MAUREEN MCDONNELL asked for assistance in finding a designer dress for her husband's upcoming inauguration as Governor, and JW agreed to help. MAUREEN MCDONNELL subsequently informed JE, one of ROBERT MCDONNELL'S senior staff members, that JW had agreed to purchase a designer dress by Oscar de la Renta for MAUREEN MCDONNELL for the inauguration.
That's when things got weird. JE told Maureen that gifting her a dress was inappropriate and "should not be done." As a result, the indictment notes, "MAUREEN MCDONNELL became upset with JE."
On or about December 21, 2009, MAUREEN MCDONNELL sent an email to JE, stating: 1 need to talk to you about Inaugural clothing budget. 1 need answers and Bob is screaming about the thousands I'm charging up in credit card debt. We are broke, have an unconscionable amount in credit card debt already, and this Inaugural is killing us!! I need answers and I need help, and I need to get this done.
MAUREEN MCDONNELL subsequently told JW that she could not accept the dress at that time but that she would take a "rain check" from him.
And a rain check she did take. Two years later she reached out again, and this time JW gave her the full Pretty Woman experience. Big mistake.
On or about April 13,2011, JW accompanied MAUREEN MCDONNELL to several luxury stores in New York City,including Oscar de la Renta, Louis Vuitton, and Bergdorf Goodman. MAUREEN MCDONNELL informed JW that she needed dresses and accessories for her daughter's upcoming wedding and for her and ROBERT MCDONNELL'S upcoming anniversary party. JW paid for the entire luxury shopping trip for MAUREEN MCDONNELL and spent approximately $10,999 at Oscar de la Renta, approximately $5,685 at Louis Vuitton, and approximately $2,604 at Bergdorf Goodman. As promised by MAUREEN MCDONNELL, JW was seated next to ROBERT MCDONNELL at the Union League Club event later that evening.
Maureen also scored: Black Rebecca Minkoff shoes, black Louis Vuitton shoes, white Louis Vuitton shoes, a cream Louis Vuitton purse, a cream Louis Vuitton wallet, a yellow Peter Som dress, a blue Armani jacket and two matching dresses, two gold Oscar de la Renta dresses, a black Louis Vuitton rain coat, a gold Oscar de le Renta sweater, Amelia Rose earrings, a Gear sweatshirt, two pairs of Foot Joy golf shoes, a button-down Ralph Lauren shirt, three Peter Millar golf shirts, a white striped Ralph Lauren golf shirt, golf bags, golf clubs, a Heather Mackenzie water color and frame, two iPhones, and 30 boxes of Anatabloc®, a Star Scientific product.
Two weeks later the families got together at the governor's mansion to discuss Star Scientific.
On or about May 2, 2011, JW had a private meeting with MAUREEN MCDONNELL at the Governor's Mansion. During the meeting, MAUREEN MCDONNELL informed JW that she and ROBERT MCDONNELL were having severe financial difficulties. MAUREEN MCDONNELL asked JW for a $50,000 loan.
Maureen also promised JW she could help Star Scientific, but she needed money. For example, her daughter's wedding was distracting her.
MAUREEN MCDONNELL also informed JW that she and ROBERT MCDONNELL did not know how they were going to pay for their daughter's upcoming wedding expenses, and she asked for JW's assistance. JW asked how much money was needed, and MAUREEN MCDONNELL responded that $15,000 was needed to pay the remaining catering costs.
JW gave her two checks, one for $50,000 and one for $15,000 that Maureen deposited in her personal Wells Fargo account. She later bought $31,079 worth of Star Scientific stock.
On or about May 28, 2011, ROBERT MCDONNELL sent an email to JW stating "Thanks so much for all your help with my family. Your very generous gift to [CM] was most appreciated as well as the golf round tomorrow for the boys. Maureen is excited about the trip to fla to learn more about the products and to see [JW's wife]. Have a restful weekend with your family. Thanks."
On or about May 29,2011, ROBERT MCDONNELL, his two sons, and his future son-in-law played golf at Kinloch Golf Club ("Kinloch"), an exclusive private golf course in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia. JW was a member at Kinloch and had agreed to pay for ROBERT MCDONNELL and his family's golf outing there even though JW would not be playing with them. During the round of golf, ROBERT MCDONNELL and his family charged approximately $2,380 to JW's Kinloch member account, including approximately $1,200 in greens fees, $500 in caddie fees, $410 in merchandise at the pro shop, and $270 in food and beverages.
The McDonnells — sometimes just the governor's sons and their friends — returned to Kinloch multiple times, charging thousands of dollars to JW.
From on or about July 28,2011, through on or aboutJuly 31, 2011, ROBERT MCDONNELL, MAUREEN MCDONNELL, and their family members enjoyed a private vacation at JW's multimillion-dollar vacation home on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. MAUREEN MCDONNELL had previously called JW to ask whether JW's Ferrari would be at the house for ROBERT MCDONNELL'S use. JW arranged to have a Star Scientific employee transport the Ferrari from Richmond to his Smith Mountain Lake house so that the defendants could use the Ferrari during their vacation. In addition, JW rented a boat specifically for the defendants' use during the vacation.
Maureen later emailed JW a photo of the governor driving the Ferrari.
On Labor Day Weekend in 2012, they all went on vacation together in Cape Cod.
JW paid for the vast majority of the costs of the trip, including flying the defendants to Cape Cod aboard JW'sjet, private cottages at the resort, golf at the resort course, expensive dinners, and the charter of a sailing yacht.
On or about August 1,2011, MAUREEN MCDONNELL also met privately with JW. During the meeting,MAUREEN MCDONNELL noticed JW's watch and asked what brand it was. JW informed her that it was a Rolex. She informed JW that she would like to get one for ROBERT MCDONNELL because he would like a Rolex. JW expressed concern regarding whether ROBERT MCDONNELL would actually wear such a luxury watch given his role as a senior government official. MAUREEN MCDONNELL told JW that she wanted JW to buy a Rolex for ROBERT MCDONNELL. JW subsequently bought a Rolex for ROBERT MCDONNELL. When JW contacted MAUREEN MCDONNELL to ask her what she wanted engraved on the watch, MAUREEN MCDONNELL instructed JW to have "71st Governor of Virginia" engraved on the back of the Rolex.
On or about February 29,2012, ROBERT MCDONNELL had a private meeting with JW to discuss potential ways that JW could transfer 50,000 shares of Star Scientific stock that JW owned to a brokerage account controlled by the defendants. ROBERT MCDONNELL and JW discussed whether such a transfer would be reportable by either ROBERT MCDONNELL or JW and their mutual interest in making sure that it was not.
They structured it as an undocumented $50,000 loan.
From in or about November 2012 through in or about March 2013, the defendants obtained yard work and other miscellaneous home repairs at their personal residence from one of JW's brothers. Those services included the installation of a hot tub cover that JW purchased for the defendants and work to re-stain the defendants' deck at their personal residence.
But they never forgot their manners — Maureen attempted to stash papers with her brother; among the documents recovered was a thank you note to JW.
I can't begin to thank you how special you made me feel on [CM's] wedding day and on our 35th Wedding Anniversary Day all dressed up in the beautiful outfits you adorned me in on both momentous occasions. I'm so happy we've been able to share so many significant milestones in our lives with you both! I truly hope your daughter will now be able to enjoy these lovely outfits and show them off on many grand occasions. If not, I'm sure there are many exemplary charitable organizations like we talked about who would welcome the opportunity to auction them for a wonderful cause having been worn only once by the First Lady of Virginia to her daughter's Wedding at the Executive Mansion and celebrating her 35th Wedding Anniversary with the Governor. Actually, if that happens I think I'll be there to bid on them myself! Please know that we cherish our friendship with you and look forward to many more wonderful memories together ahead! XOXO! Maureen McDonnell