RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A defense attorney is challenging the credibility of the prosecution's key witness in former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's corruption trial by questioning him about lawsuits he and the company he founded face over allegations of securities violations.
Former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams is testifying against McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, under an immunity agreement. They are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams in exchange for promoting his nutritional supplements company's products.
Williams acknowledged Monday that Star faced about a half-dozen shareholder lawsuits. He called them "nuisance suits." He also acknowledged that Star received a warning from federal regulators over Star's claims about its signature product.
Last week, Williams testified that he and the McDonnells had a business relationship and were not personal friends. Defense attorneys sought to contradict that claim by noting that Williams and Maureen McDonnell exchanged more than 1,200 text messages and phone calls in less than two years.