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Mortgage broker admits money laundering

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A mortgage broker has pleaded guilty to money laundering in California, admitting he helped funnel a bribe to former U.S. Rep. Randy Cunningham.

John Michael of New York also acknowledged Monday lying to a grand jury investigating Cunningham, a California Republican, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. A federal judge scheduled sentencing for May.

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Cunningham is serving an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty, while Brent Wilkes, a defense contractor, was convicted by a jury last fall and has not yet been sentenced.

Michael became involved in the case through his uncle, Thomas Kontogiannis, who also pleaded guilty to money laundering. Michael's company, Coastal Capital Corp., made three loans to Cunningham, including one that Wilkes paid off.

Last week, prosecutors filed court papers claiming Wilkes concealed assets when he asked to be represented by public defenders.

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