The political aide will be sentenced Wednesday for stealing more than $7 million from clients. Representatives for some victims say the penalty isn’t enough.

By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
November 26, 2012, 7:14 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Federal prosecutors recommended Monday that former campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee — who pleaded guilty earlier this year to mail fraud involving the theft of more than $7 million from her clients — be sentenced to about eight years in prison.

Among those who said Durkee had raided their campaign funds were Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Democratic Reps. Laura Richardson of Long Beach, Loretta Sanchez of Garden Grove, Linda T. Sanchez of Lakewood and Susan A. Davis of San Diego, and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.

“Over the course of approximately 12 years, the defendant misappropriated millions of dollars from clients, used the money for her personal and business expenses, and prepared false campaign disclosure reports to hide the theft,” a sentencing memorandum filed by U.S. Atty. Benjamin B. Wagner said. The document proposed a 97-month sentence be handed down Wednesday, when Durkee is due to appear in federal court. Prosecutors had been considering a sentence of up to 14 years.

“Eight years is a lot of time to spend in a federal penitentiary,” said Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, which lost $200,000 as a result of the scheme. “I think it’s a reasonable sentence.”

But Bill Carrick, a campaign spokesman for Feinstein, said prison time was not enough.

“I would be much, much happier if I knew all about how we’re going to get restitution for the victims,” he said. Feinstein’s campaign has said $4.6 million was stolen from its accounts.

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