July 10, 2015 / 2:25 PM / 4 years ago

Court upholds former Virginia governor's corruption conviction

(Reuters) - A federal appeals court upheld a guilty verdict on Friday in the corruption case against former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell, according to court documents.

The 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals let stand a jury verdict that found McDonnell guilty of 11 counts of corruption. It also found that the jury’s not guilty verdict on two counts of making a false statement must stand, the court said.

The Republican former governor and his estranged wife, Maureen McDonnell, were convicted in September of taking gifts and loans totaling $177,000 from businessman Jonnie Williams Sr. to promote a dietary supplement called Anatabloc.

In January, Robert McDonnell was sentenced to two years in federal prison. A U.S. appeals court ruled he will remain free pending his appeal.

His wife, who was convicted of eight counts of corruption, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison.

In his appeal, the former governor alleged multiple errors, arguing that his trial should have been severed from his wife’s, according to the court’s decision. He also challenged the instructions given to the jury and the sufficiency of evidence against him, among other things.

Circuit Judge Stephanie Thacker wrote the decision for a unanimous three-judge panel.

The former Virginia first lady also appealed her conviction. Friday’s ruling did not address her appeal, which is being pursued separately, the court said.

Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Mohammad Zargham

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