The businessman who gave more than $120,000 in gifts to Gov. Bob McDonnell and his family, along with his company, which is fighting a state tax bill for $1.7 million, have been cooperating for several months with federal prosecutors in a federal public corruption investigation, The Washington Post reported this weekend.
Jonnie R. Williams Sr., chief executive of Star Scientific, has turned over personal financial records and sat for interviews, the Post reported. Star has given prosecutors access to corporate records and offered information from other company officials, the Post reported. The Post based its story on interviews with three sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is in a sensitive stage.
McDonnell has said he has broken no laws and that he did nothing to help Star Scientific that he would not have done for any Virginia company.
In addition to the federal probe, the state is investigating whether McDonnell followed Virginia’s conflicts of interests disclosure laws. Federal securities officials are investigating some of Star Scientific’s financing since 2006.
Federal law says elected officials can’t take money or gifts in exchange for doing their official duties.
McDonnell’s wife told an investors group in Florida that Star Scientific’s Anatabloc diet supplement could be used to lower health-care costs in Virginia. The governor attended an Executive Mansion event to launch Anatabloc.
Maureen McDonnell also arranged a meeting Williams held with a state health official.