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Details are emerging about the federal mail fraud charges filed against Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee.

The Los Angeles Times reported today that the Burbank-based campaign treasurer, who was arrested Friday, is accused of siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the campaign accounts of Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana.
Solorio had issued a statement over the weekend saying the FBI had notified him that he was a victim of the alleged mail fraud.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

According to an affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint, Durkee took money from her clients' bank accounts and filed false campaign reports to cover up her actions.

When interviewed by FBI agents, Durkee "admitted that she had been misappropriating her clients' money for years and that the forms she filed with the state were false," the affadavit says.

The mail fraud charge stems from the alleged filing of falsified campaign reports. Prosecutors allege that Durkee transferred money from her clients' accounts to pay her own business and personal expenses, including mortgage and credit card payments.
Durkee has served as treasurer of campaign committees for federal, state and local candidates, with clients including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, many state legislators and several Los Angeles City Council members.

The complaint alleges that on two separate occasions in 2010, Durkee transferred funds totaling $677,181 from an account belonging to the Solorio for Assembly 2010 committee to Durkee & Associates business accounts without Solorio's permission or knowledge.

The withdrawals were not reported on disclosure forms filed with the state.

Among other expenditures, more than $30,000 of that money went to pay for payroll expenses for Durkee & Associates, the complaint alleged.

An additional $17,533 went to pay American Express bills that included charges at Baskin Robbins and a Disneyland restaurant and the purchase of Amazon.com gift cards, while $4,950 went to help pay expenses for Durkee's mother at an assisted living facility.

Durkee, who represented dozens of Democrats running for state and federal office, was expected to make her first court appearance this afternoon. Read the full Los Angeles Times piece at this link.

Click here to see a full list of state campaign committee reports Durkee filed in 2011.



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