The latest information is the news that Maureen McDonnell, the governor's wife, purchased 6,000 shares of Star Scientific stock on June 1, 2011. This was the same day she publically voiced her support of the company before a group of physicians and investors in Florida. Mrs. McDonnell also bought 522 more shares for nearly $2,000 on Aug. 2, 2011.
Mrs. McDonnell paid $30,000 for the 6,000 shares of Star Scientific, according to the Washington Post on Saturday. The purchase was made just a few days after Jonnie Williams wrote her a check in the amount of $50,000, according to the paper.
The second stock purchase by Mrs. McDonnell came the day after she had arranged for Jonnie Williams, the CEO of Star Scientific, to meet with a top state health official where Williams pitched his company’s new dietary supplement.
Rich Galen, a spokesman for McDonnell's legal team, said Mrs. McDonnell did not inform the governor either of the two times she purchased stock from Star, saying she had bought the stock for herself and her children.
This is where the story begins to get sticky. According to a source familiar with the stock purchase, government prosecutors have been investigating Governor McDonnell's family ownership of Star Scientific stock. The feds are trying to determine if the governor took any official acts in adding to the prestige of the company.
Remember the second stock purchase in August 2011? A few weeks after the first lady of Virginia had set up the meeting with Williams and a top health official, she hosted a luncheon at the Governors Mansion, celebrating Star's launch of its new product. The Governor was present for this event.
The question could very well be asked, did the Governor feel his presence at the luncheon would help Williams' company? Possible, maybe, and one for which the government wants an answer.