U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller today ordered Kinde Durkee to serve eight years in prison for what has been called California's biggest case of campaign treasurer fraud.
Durkee pleaded guilty in March to mail fraud for taking more than $7 million from campaign accounts she controlled on behalf of Democratic politicians and other clients over a 12-year period. The hundreds of unauthorized transfers she made over that time resulted in six- and seven-figure losses for some clients, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, and outgoing state Assemblyman Jose Solorio, and wiped out the accounts of some smaller committees and nonprofits she controlled.
In addition to the prison sentence, Mueller ordered Durkee to pay more than $10.5 million in restitution. She is turning over a 401(k) account worth about $90,000 and the government is auctioning of her office building later this week to raise more money
"I want to take this opportunity to apologize for my actions," Durkee said in a brief statement to the court. "To those who trusted me and I betrayed, to those who counted on me and I let down, to those who depended on me and I disappointed, I take full and compete responsibility for what I have done. I'm truly sorry for the hurt I caused to my former clients, my former employees, my friends and my family."