Former Executive Testifies in McDonnell Trial

By: Larry O'Dell, Associated Press
By: Larry O'Dell, Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An associate of the wealthy businessman at the center of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's corruption case says he initially had reservations about his colleague's dealings with McDonnell and his wife.

But Paul Perito testified Friday that he eventually concluded that Star Scientific Inc. and its chief product could benefit from what he called "the halo effect" that would accompany the governor's association with former Star CEO Jonnie Williams.

The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams in exchange for promoting his products.

Perito is a former Star executive. Williams testified under immunity that he lavished gifts on the McDonnells only to get their help and gain credibility for his company and its anti-inflammatory product, Anatabloc.

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