Former Virginia Governor indicted on corruption charges in gift giving scandal

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (www.qiewo.com) -- Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife Maureen were indicted on Tuesday in federal court with 14 counts surrounding a gift-giving scandal that clouded the last months of his tenure.

A federal grand jury indicted the couple on 14 counts, including fraud, conspiracy and obstructing the investigation, for illegally accepting large loans, luxury vacations and expensive gifts from a businessman.

McDonnell, who left office earlier this month, has been investigated into his ties to Jonnie R. Williams Sr., an executive of the nutritional supplements manufacturing company, Star Scientific.

We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute public corruption, said U.S. Attorney Dana Boente in a statement.

If convicted, McDonnell and his wife could face decades in prison in maximum and fines of more than one million dollars, according to local media.

McDonnell has apologized for his interactions with Williams in July and paid back the businessman 120,000 dollars in loan and some other gifts.

Following the indictment, he repeated his apology but denied the charges again. 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 which I take full responsibility. However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship, he said in a statement.

McDonnell, 59, was once considered as a potential candidate to run for presidency in 2016.

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