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Wife of ex-congressman accepts penalties

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- In a plea agreement, the wife of disgraced former California congressman Randy Cunningham acknowledged that bribe money partially financed their house.

Additionally, Nancy Cunningham signed an agreement admitting she violated tax laws and will pay $1.6 million in taxes and penalties, the Los Angeles Times said Saturday. She also agreed to forfeit $760,000 to the IRS from the sale of the couple's Rancho Santa Fe home.

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In exchange for this and continued cooperation with an ongoing federal investigation, authorities have not filed criminal charges against her, the Times said. The action comes more than a year after a civil forfeiture action was filed against Nancy and her husband, stating their home was partially financed with proceeds from a bribe.

Randy Cunningham, a former eight-term Republican congressman, already pleaded guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes and not paying more than $1 million in taxes, the Times said. He was sentenced to serve 100 months in prison.

An investigation by the FBI and IRS determined that Cunningham bought the home after a defense contractor, Mitchell Wade, paid an inflated price for the Cunninghams' former home. Wade pleaded guilty to federal charges earlier this year.

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