Former Virginia Governor Charged with Accepting Illegal Gifts

U.S.

Updated: Jan. 21, 2014, 7:09 p.m. E.T.

Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife were charged on Tuesday with illegally accepting gifts — including luxury vacations, private jets and large loans — from a wealthy businessman seeking special treatment from the government.

Federal prosecutors say McDonnell, a Republican, and his wife Maureen repeatedly received gifts and loans totaling more than $160,000 from dietary-supplement executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. In exchange, the McDonnells allegedly bolstered Williams’ struggling company with the prestige of the governor’s office. The indictment on Tuesday charges them with 14 counts, including wire fraud and conspiracy.

In a statement on Tuesday, McDonnell, who has previously apologized for the gifts scandal but said he did nothing illegal, maintained his innocence.

“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 for…

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