RICHMOND, Va. (WUSA9) -- The federal corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen continued Wednesday with testimonies from an FBI agent and various bank employees who worked with the first couple on loan applications.
FBI Special Agent David Hulser was last on the stand Wednesday. Hulser, who investigated and reviewed the McDonnells' bank and financial records and phone and email records, said at one point the couple's debt reached a high of more than $90,000. Hulser looked at the couple's combined credit card debt from January 2010 to April 2011. In January 2011, FBI records show that the McDonnells had just under $75,000 in debt. That debt peaked in September 2010 at around $90,000. By April 2011, the couple's debt was down to $31,000.
Agent Hulser spent the bulk of his testimony showing the correlation between when Jonnie Williams and the McDonnells communicated by text, email and phone, when Williams gave the couple gifts and loans, and when the couple gave Williams special treatment. The prosecution is using Hulser's testimony to try and show a quid pro quo relationship between Jonnie Williams and the first couple. Hulser put together pages of charts that were submitted into evidence Wednesday. The charts illustrate the communication that happened around the time of Bob McDonnell's Ferrari ride, when Williams bought the Rolex, numerous golf trips, stock purchases, meeting with Virginia researchers and more.
Hulser will be back on the stand Thursday morning.
The other focus of the day was whether or not the McDonnells purposely failed to disclose loans from then Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.
Virginia Beach Mayor and former TowneBank President William Sessoms was on the stand first for cross examination, during which the defense did a good job of poking holes in Tuesday's direct. The prosecution showed Tuesday that Bob McDonnell failed to disclose loans from Jonnie Williams on a personal financial statement that he filled out as part of a loan renewal process. Wednesday, the defense argued that Bob McDonnell was not required to write down loans from Jonnie Williams because he was filling out the personal financial statement individually rather than jointly. That means loans to his wife Maureen McDonnell would not need to be on the form, according to Sessoms's testimony.
The defense also showed that a check from Jonnie Williams went to Mobo Real Estate Partners LLC, Bob McDonnell and his sister's real estate firm. Sessoms testified that because Mobo LLC is a corporate entity and does not have a personal guarantee from Bob McDonnell, he did not need to disclose that loan on his personal financial statement.
In redirect, the prosecution asked Sessoms, "Have you ever done a handshake deal with a corporation?" Sessoms answered no.
The prosecution then called TowneBank Senior Credit Analyst Barbara Tierney to the stand to testify about the personal financial statement. Tierney testified that the personal financial statement is the only way that the bank would be able to find out about personal loans, and again, that there were no loans from Jonnie Williams on the statement. Once again, the defense showed that Bob McDonnell filed individually and that the personal financial statement was not collecting information from Maureen McDonnell.
In early 2013, the McDonnells were trying to refinance the mortgages on some of there properties with PenFed. Then PenFed CEO and President Frank Pollack testified that he worked with the McDonnells on their mortgage refinancing. Pollack testified that PenFed is a full doc lender, meaning loan applicants must verify their employment, income and debts and liabilities. Pollack said the only way PenFed would know about the McDonnells undocumented personal loans would be if the couple told the bank.
After Pollack's testimony, PenFed mortgage supervisor Nanette Bolt testified that she helped the McDonnells with their mortgage application. Bolt said that on January 23, she was on a phone call with Bob McDonnell, his wife Maureen, his sister Maureen and other bank employees discussing the properties they wanted to refinance. After the call, Bolt filled out a loan application and sent it to Bob McDonnell for review, according to her testimony. On February 1, Bob McDonnell sent the application back with handwritten edits and additions. Those additions did not include loans from Jonnie Williams or Starwood Trust. The application was signed by the former governor and his wife Maureen.
Bolt testified that she received another loan application from Bob McDonnell on February 18 with more handwritten additions. These additions included the couple's assets and liabilities. Among the asset additions were Star Scientific stocks. The liabilities included $120,000 in loans from Jonnie Williams and Starwood Trust. Nanette testified that this was the first time she had heard about Jonnie Williams or Starwood Trust from the governor.
Maureen McDonnell was interviewed by Virginia State Police on February 15. With Bolt's testimony, the prosecution is trying to show that the governor and first lady only disclosed the loans after law enforcement agents were investigating them.
During cross, the defense tried to show that changes to loan applications are common, as Bolt had already stated in her testimony. Bolt said sometimes borrowers fill out the application incorrectly and make changes, and said she was not surprised to receive the edits from Bob McDonnell on February 18. The defense also emphasized that the Star Scientific stocks and loans from Williams were not the only additions made on the February 18 application. The McDonnells also added a life insurance policy, car, and RaceHorse LLC, another asset.
In redirect, the prosecution asked Bolt if there was any indication on the February 1 application that it was a draft, to which she said no.
The prosecution said Wednesday that they would rest their case Thursday. Friday will be a motions day and the defense will begin Monday.
Follow Peggy Fox @PeggyTV on Twitter for updates throughout the day.
Catch up on what happened in court on Tuesday here: http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/2014/08/12/bob-maureen-mcdonnell-trial-corruption-tuesday-star-scientific/13949189/