Timeline of gifts and loans to McDonnells

  •  | 
Print this page

The following information was compiled largely from reports in The Washington Post and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Current state law requires elected officials to disclose any gift of more than $50. However, gifts to family members are exempt.


Star Scientific provides then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell with $28,500 in air travel during his successful run for governor. In 2010 and 2011, the governor’s political action committee receives another $80,000 in air travel
from the company.


McDonnell becomes
governor of Virginia.

April or May
Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr. pays for a $15,000 shopping trip in New York by first lady Maureen McDonnell.

A $15,000 check drawn on a trust controlled by Williams pays for catering at Cailin McDonnell’s wedding. McDonnell later describes the payment as a wedding gift to his daughter.

A $50,000 check from the trust is made out to Maureen McDonnell, an amount later characterized by Gov. McDonnell as a loan.  Without consulting the governor, her attorney says, she uses $30,000 from the loan to buy Star stock as an investment for the McDonnell children.

First lady touts the health benefits of Anatabloc dietary supplement before an audience of doctors and investors in Florida.


Williams purchases a $6,500 Rolex watch, which the first lady gives to the governor. Attorneys for the governor later say he did not know Williams had paid for the watch and his wife’s New York shopping trip.

Mrs. McDonnell hosts the official launch of Anatabloc at an Executive Mansion luncheon. The governor attends the event to recognize the awarding of Star Scientific-funded research grants to Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia.

The first lady sells Star stock at a loss. She, however, repurchases the shares the following month without telling the governor, her attorney says.




Williams writes a $50,000 check from his trust to a real estate corporation owned by the governor and one of his sisters. Later, Williams writes a second check to the company for $20,000.

Williams gives McDonnell’s eldest daughter Jeanine $10,000, a gift to help defray the cost of her wedding in May 2013.

Ownership of Star stock bought by first lady in January is transferred to the McDonnells’ children.


A Washington Post story reveals Williams’ payment for catering at Cailin McDonnell’s wedding, beginning a series of revelations about gifts and loans to the governor’s family.

Former state Attorney General Anthony Troy says McDonnell administration agencies gave no public funds, grants or contracts to Star Scientific. He had been hired by the state to represent McDonnell in a state investigation of the gifts.

McDonnell announces that he repaid, with interest, the $120,000 in loans that Williams gave to his family’s real estate corporation and his wife.
A week later, McDonnell tells radio audience that his family would return or repay all gifts from Williams.

The Post reports Williams is cooperating with a federal investigation involving McDonnell by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Virginia.

McDonnell rejects a request by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to call a special legislative session on ethics reform.

The Virginian-Pilot calls on McDonnell to resign.

Reader Comments

comments powered by Disqus

showhide shortcuts