FBI: Treasurer Used Campaign Funds Like Personal Piggy Bank

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We just got a hold of the FBI complaint against Kinde Durkee, the California accountant who has been a campaign treasurer for hundreds of Democratic campaigns. The feds charged her late last week with mail fraud for allegedly taking campaign funds from accounts she controlled and using them to pay personal and business expenses as well as cover for shortfalls in the accounts of other campaigns.

The victim in this case is alleged to be the campaign of state Assemblyman Joe Solorio, from whose accounts Durkee allegedly misappropriated more than $600,000, some of which ended up in the campaign accounts of Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). (There is no suggestion in the complaint that the the Sanchez campaign knew of these deposits.)

But the key takeaway from the FBI complaint may be that Durkee admitted, according to the feds, that she has been “misappropriating her clients’ money for years.” So who knows how many other victims there and the amounts of money involved.

Here’s a copy of the complaint.By the way, this isn’t the first time Durkee has come under scrutiny for shady practices. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on a bogus “California for Obama” campaign that she was running back in 2007:

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton told the Chronicle at the time the effort was entirely unauthorized, and the campaign issued a harsh cease-and-desist-warning to Emmett Cash III, the former movie mogul who worked with Durkee on the San Bernardino-based campaign.

Curious to hear more about this case from our California politico readers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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