Prominent Dem official arrested in California
Kinde Durkee of Durkee and Associates, a prominent Democratic party fundraiser and official, has been charged with several counts of mail fraud committed in her capacity as campaign treasurer for dozens of individuals and groups.
U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek confirmed Saturday afternoon that Kinde Durkee of Burbank-based Durkee and Associates, was arrested by the FBI on a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento. Special Agent Steve Dupre of the bureau's Sacramento office said she was arrested in connection with her position as a campaign treasurer.
State Sen. Lou Correa told the Register on Saturday afternoon that he was called by the FBI late Friday night and told that Durkee had been arrested and that he is a likely victim along with "many, many other victims." The Santa Ana Democrat said he believes he has lost "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in campaign funds.
"This is clearly a sense of betrayal of someone I have trusted for a number of years," said Correa, who has used Durkee as his campaign treasurer since 1995. "This is a punch straight to the gut."
Federal Election Commission records show that Durkee is the treasurer for Feinstein and Sanchez, who could not be reached Saturday. California Secretary of State records show she currently serves as the treasurer for at least 115 state-level committees. Those committees include campaign accounts for Solorio, D-Santa Ana; Assemblymen Gilbert Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, and Roger Hernandez, D-Baldwin Park; State Sens. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance and Curren Price, D-Los Angeles; Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian; and former Orange County lawmaker Tom Umberg.
Durkee also oversaw the political-action committees of the Democratic Party of Orange County and the Democratic Foundation of Orange County, among others.
Mail fraud might imply moving cash around to hide shortages in several accounts - the shortfall the result of theft. With 115 separate accounts, you could probably steal a lot of money over the years before someone got wise. But eventually, either due to greed or a slip up of some kind, the scheme collapses and its off to jail for the luckless crook.