Our CSLEA members who are state investigators with the California Fair Political Practices Commission cracked the case that is now sending an ex-campaign treasurer to prison.
This week, a federal judge sentenced Kinde Durkee to eight years in prison for defrauding millions of dollars from a list of clients that included members of Congress and California state lawmakers. The judge also ordered Durkee to pay more than $10.5 million dollars to her victims.
According to published reports, investigators with the Fair Political Practices Commission uncovered the scheme after finding discrepancies in political funds and filings for a California assemblyman. Federal investigators were called in to assist and it was soon discovered that Durkee was stealing money to the tune of $10.5 million dollars.
Durkee pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud in March. She also admitted to stealing $7 million dollars from more than 50 victims. Authorities believe the number of victims exceeds 70.
Authorities said Durkee used the stolen money to pay her mortgage, buy tickets to events, keep her finance business operating and to fund care for her parents.
Durkee could have faced a maximum penalty of 100 years but a plea deal reduced the possible sentence to 11 to 14 years.