News Column

Financial testimony continues in McDonnell trial

August 20, 2014

By Bill Sizemore, The Virginian-Pilot



Aug. 20--RICHMOND -- What does "liquid" mean?

That was one of the questions explored this morning as testimony in the federal corruption trial of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, delved deeply into the couple's personal finances during the period when they received $120,000 in off-the-books loans from businessman Jonnie Williams.

Prosecutors were cross-examining Allen Kosowsky, a certified public accountant who took the stand Tuesday as a defense expert witness. He testified then that the McDonnells had more than $170,000 in available credit on their credit cards in 2011 when they got Williams' first $50,000 loan.

That testimony was calculated to undercut the prosecution's case that financial desperation motivated the couple to turn to Williams for help.

Today, both prosecutor Ryan Faulconer and Judge James Spencer pressed Kosowsky on his contention that the McDonnells' ability to incur additional credit card debt was a positive thing.

"Do you consider available credit to be liquid?" the judge asked.

Yes, Kosowsky replied -- he considers the term "liquid" to mean "readily available."

"How is it that you determine this is a good thing?" the judge asked. "He had the ability to create debt, and that made him better off?"

Faulconer walked Kosowsky through the McDonnells' credit card bills from the period, pointing out to the jury that the cards carried interest rates ranging as high as 27 percent -- a sharp contrast to the Williams money, which was loaned at 2 percent with no payments due for three years.

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For updates, return to PilotOnline.com later and read tomorrow's Virginian-Pilot.

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(c)2014 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

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Source: Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)


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