RICHMOND, Va - Former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell faces sentencing on Friday for taking bribes from a businessman, with federal prosecutors seeking 18 months in prison and defence lawyers asking for a community service sentence. McDonnell was convicted in September along with her estranged husband, former Governor Robert McDonnell, for accepting $177,000 in sweetheart loans and lavish gifts from entrepreneur Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company’s main product, an anti-inflammatory. The five-week trial in US District Court laid bare rifts in the couple’s marriage and tarnished Virginia’s reputation for clean government.

 In court documents, prosecutors said Maureen McDonnell was unlikely ever again to have influence over an elected official but that an 18-month prison term would serve as a deterrent.

“Any sentence imposed on her will affect others who may be in positions to affect those in a position of public trust,” they said.