McDonnell Corruption Trial Ensnares PenFed
Frank Pollack, the former president/CEO at the $18.3 billion Pentagon Federal Credit Union and a current PenFed mortgage executive, testified Wednesday in the political corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (pictured at left) and his wife Maureen.
Both Pollack and Mortgage Supervisor Nanette Bolt testified about the circumstances and disclosures the McDonnells made, or allegedly failed to make, while trying to refinance debt in 2013, according to media outlets.
Pollack served as an employee at PenFed from 1978 until his retirement as CEO in March of this year. He rose up through the ranks at the institution to take the CEO position in 2000.
According to accounts of the trial, Pollack testified that he had helped the McDonnells with their application to refinance some of the mortgages that they hold with PenFed. He also testified, according to the account, that PenFed required complete documentation of employment, income, debts and liabilities. He testified the credit union would not have known about any loans the McDonnells had unless they had disclosed them.
The prosecution has been charging that entrepreneur Jonnie Williams made the McDonnells loans as part of a deal to have the governor help promote Williams’ nutritional supplement product.
Bolt took the stand after Pollack and described a Jan. 23 conference call that included Bolt, then Gov. McDonnell, his wife Maureen, his sister, his business partner and several other PenFed employees who convened to discuss the properties to be refinanced, the media outlets reported.
Bolt testified that after the phone call, she filled out a refinance application for McDonnell and sent it to him. He then returned it, signed by him and his wife, on Feb. 1, with handwritten additions and edits, she testified.
None of the additions or edits included the loans from Williams or an organization tied to his company, she also testified.
Bolt then testified that McDonnell sent her another refinance application on Feb. 18 with more handwritten edits and additions that included assets and liabilities, according to media accounts. Among the assets were stock in Starwood Scientific, Williams’ company, and among the liabilities were $120,000 in loans from Williams and an organization called Starwood Trust. Bolt testified that prior to the Feb. 18, she had never heard of Starwood or Williams, media outlets reported.
Virginia State Police had interviewed Maureen McDonnell on Feb. 15. The prosecution suggested Bolt’s testimony indicated the McDonnells only disclosed the loans after law enforcement began investigating them.
On cross-examination from McDonnell’s defense, Bolt testified that additions and changes to loan applications were not rare and that the McDonnell’s had not surprised her, according to media accounts. She also testified the McDonnells had listed other assets and liabilities in their Feb. 18 revision.
However, on redirect from the prosecution, Bolt also testified that she had had no indication that the Feb. 1 loan refinance application had been a draft, the media outlets reported.
PenFed has declined to comment on the testimony or the trial.