Authorities charged former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, with illegally accepting luxurious gifts, vacations, the use of a private jet and large loans from the chief executive officer of a Virginia business—in exchange for special treatment.
Mr. McDonnell—once a rising star in the Republican Party and tipped as a possible vice presidential pick or presidential candidate—has been under fire since last spring, when reports first emerged about the gifts. Mr. McDonnell was limited to one 4-year term by state law, but the scandal colored the most recent gubernatorial campaign. The race was ultimately won by Terry McAuliffe in a Democratic sweep of statewide offices.
The charges allege that Mr. McDonnell and his wife made repeated requests to Jonnie Williams Sr. , the CEO of dietary supplement company Star Scientific, STSI -3.96% to use his private jet, to purchase designer clothing for Ms. McDonnell, and to loan the couple thousands of dollars.
In exchange, prosecutors allege Mr. McDonnell agreed to help Star Scientific by advocating the company's products to the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources and by speaking on behalf of the company's products to doctors, health professionals and state researchers.