Ex-campaign treasurer pleads guilty to fraud

By By Patrick Mcgreevy

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

Published: Friday, March 30 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ Kinde Durkee, once a go-to campaign treasurer for Democratic candidates in California, pleaded guilty Friday to five counts of mail fraud after an FBI investigation found she pilfered more than $7 million in political funds from at least 50 clients, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller delayed a decision on how long the prominent campaign worker will spend behind bars.

In the largest embezzlement case involving political funds in California history, Durkee is alleged to have taken money from campaign committees she managed for prominent Democrats including Reps. Loretta Sanchez of Garden Grove, Linda Sanchez of Lakewood and Susan Davis of San Diego; and state Sen. Lou Correa  and Assemblyman Jose Solorio, both of Santa Ana.

Prosecutors say that money withdrawn without authorization  helped Durkee pay her mortgage, business expenses and medical services for her mother as well as purchase Dodgers baseball tickets, Disneyland passes, Amazon.com gift cards and Baskin Robbins ice cream.

In all, Durkee had control over more than 700 bank accounts for nearly 100 political candidates and nonprofit groups, prosecutors said.


(c)2012 the Los Angeles Times

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