A prominent California campaign treasurer who stole millions of dollars from Democratic politicians is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday by a federal judge in Sacramento.
Federal prosecutors want Kinde Durkee to spend eight years and one month in prison. She pleaded guilty in March to five counts of mail fraud in what the Justice Department believed was the largest prosecuted embezzlement by a campaign committee treasurer.“Over the course of approximately 12 years, the defendant misappropriated millions of dollars from clients, used the money for her personal and business expenses, and prepared false campaign disclosure reports to hide the theft,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo last week.
Durkee was arrested in September 2011. The feds said that Durkee spent her clients’ money on her mortgage, the bill for her mother’s care at an assisted living facility, and an American Express bill for charges from Baskin Robbins, Ulta, Amazon.com gift cards, Tivo, an animal clinic and an aquarium.
Durkee admitted in her guilty plea that her clients lost more than $7 million because of her scheme. A bank recently unfroze $2.5 million of her clients’ funds frozen during the federal investigation.