Additional Cunningham deals probed

July 5, 2005 at 10:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 5 (UPI) -- A New York developer has had dealings with U.S. Rep. Randy Cunningham similar to ones the representative had with another man currently under investigation.

Cunningham, R-Calif., is being investigated for selling a house to defense contractor Mitchell Wade, a structure Wade sold shortly thereafter for a $700,000 loss. Cunningham also has been living rent-free on a yacht owned by Wade.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday Cunningham has had dealings with Thomas T. Kontogiannis, who said he does not do business with the federal government.

Among their business transactions were the sale of a yacht to Kontogiannis, which the New York developer paid off by settling a mortgage for Cunningham, the newspaper said. However, the title for the yacht, which Kontogiannis spent $100,000 refurbishing, was never changed and Cunningham has since registered it in California saying he expected to buy it back, the Post said.

Cunningham's lawyers gave the newspaper a statement that transactions between Cunningham and Kontogiannis were "entirely proper."

Kontogiannis said he has never asked Cunningham for a favor.

"Why would I do that?" the Post quoted him as asking. "I don't need the man."

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