The Federal indictment of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, could probably be reduced to one phrase: women be shopping.
The couple faces charges of fraud and corruption — soliciting loans and gifts — and if convicted they could face decades behind bars. According to prosecutors, the real culprit behind their political and criminal downfall is Ms. McDonnell. She is accused of requesting and accepting inappropriate gifts, like pricey Oscar de la Renta gowns, designer baubles and straight up cash, from her husband's billionaire supporters like Jonnie R. Williams Sr. In return, the couple allegedly promoted his dietary supplement company at the governor's mansion.
Ms. McDonnell indulged in lavish shopping sprees at Bergdorf Goodman and Louis Vuitton while driving a Ferrari and flying in private jets, all courtesy of their wealthy "friends." But she isn't the only spouse with a taste for breaking the law. Apparently dealing with a politician's better halves is no cake walk.
Male and female spouses alike can pose problems. Edward Mezvinsky derailed the career of his wife, a former Democratic congresswoman from Pennsylvania who was seeking a Senate seat in 2000, when details emerged that he had defrauded investors of more than $10 million. Mr. Mezvinsky received a seven-year prison sentence. His wife, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, dropped out of her Senate race in the middle of the scandal. The couple later divorced. …
Newt Gingrich took out a Tiffany credit line of up to $500,000 to buy jewelry for his third wife, Callista, which became an embarrassment as he sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2011. When the couple left the campaign trail to cruise in Greece at Ms. Gingrich’s insistence, Mr. Gingrich’s political consultants quit en masse.
People are greedy, y'all. But it's not like Maureen acted alone. During one trip to a golf club on Mr. Williams' tab, Governor McDonnell and his two sons racked up $1,243 in charges.
Image via Getty.