Ex-Virginia governor’s onetime top aide testifies

Va. Beach mayor to take the stand this week

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) – The corruption trial of Virginia’s former governor and his wife entered its third week Monday.

The onetime chief of staff to former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he had no idea at the time that his boss had received thousands of dollars in gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman.

Martin Kent testified Monday in the public corruption trial of McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. They are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from the former CEO of a nutritional supplements company in exchange for promoting his products.

In August 2011, a luncheon was held at the governor’s mansion for Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams to launch his signature product, Anatabloc. McDonnell spoke at the event.

Kent said McDonnell was busy that week dealing with natural disasters and could have removed the event from his schedule but he didn’t.

Special Coverage: McDonnell Trial

Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms
Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms

This week, Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms is also expected to take the stand. Mayor Sessoms will be testifying about loans the McDonnells had with his bank back in 2005 and 2006. If you have a loan with a bank, that bank receives annual reports about your current financial status. It should show all loans you have, and is required by law.

Federal prosecutors believe the McDonnells failed to report loans from Jonnie Williams on their annual report to Mayor Sessoms’ bank. Mayor Sessoms will look at those reports, and testify whether the loans were properly documented.

If not, the couple could be found guilty of wire fraud.

Mayor Sessoms is expected to take the stand either Tuesday or Wednesday.

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