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Ex-treasurer to California Democrats gets 8 years in prison

  • CORRECTS SPELLING OF DIANNE FEINSTEIN - Former Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee leaves the federal courthouse in Sacramento, Calif., after she was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison for defrauding high-profile clients, such as U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. Durkee, who pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud in March, was sentenced to a total of 97 months and was ordered to pay $10.5 million in restitution for tampering with the electoral process(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — A former Democratic campaign treasurer was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in federal prison for defrauding high-profile clients, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of at least $7 million.

Kinde Durkee, 59, was sentenced to a total of 97 months behind bars in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty to five counts of mail fraud in March, when U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner called her "the Bernie Madoff of campaign treasurers," referring to the infamous New York financial manager.

Durkee read a brief statement and apologized in court to "those who trusted me and I betrayed."

"I take full and complete responsibility for what I've done," she said.

Feinstein said she lost about $4.5 million in the scam involving Durkee that also targeted several state lawmakers and nonprofit political groups.


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