Kinde Durkee, 59, of Long Beach, pleaded guilty in Sacramento to five counts of mail fraud, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin B. Wagner said.
During Friday's proceedings, Durkee admitted losses to her clients totaled more than $7 million. The U.S. Justice Department said in a release the case is believed to be the largest embezzlement by a campaign committee treasurer ever prosecuted.
Durkee operated Durkee & Associates, providing accounting and campaign reporting services to political campaign committees and non-profit organizations. Part of the company's service was filing campaign disclosure forms with the California Secretary of State and the Federal Election Commission.
Court documents indicate Durkee defrauded clients through a scheme beginning around early 2000 and continuing until September 2011, in which she routinely misappropriated client funds and submitted false information to the California Secretary of State and the FEC.
"As a result of the false filings, clients believed that their campaign accounts had more money in them than they actually held," the Justice Department said. "Durkee used the money she misappropriated to pay her personal expenses, including mortgage payments and American Express charges; to pay business expenses, including payroll; and to repay unauthorized withdrawals from other client accounts."
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