RICHMOND, Va. — Former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell was sentenced Friday to one year and 1 day in prison for her role in a bribery scheme that destroyed her husband’s political career.
U.S. District Judge James Spencer sentenced McDonnell on eight public corruption counts. Prosecutors had asked for an 18-month sentence. Defense attorneys requested probation and 4,000 hours of community service.
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell, convicted of 11 counts, was sentenced to two years in prison last month. He is free on bond while he appeals the convictions to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, which will hear arguments May 12.
A jury in September found the McDonnells guilty of taking more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company’s nutritional supplements. Among the gifts were about $20,000 in designer accessories and clothing for Maureen McDonnell and a $6,500 Rolex watch she gave her husband for Christmas.
Maureen McDonnell’s lawyers said in court papers that she cracked under the pressure and the fear of letting her husband down.