A $1.75 million settlement payment closes one chapter on a high-profile embezzlement case from 2012. Pacific Western Bank recently paid the settlement in connection with its purchase of First California Bank. According to federal prosecutors, First California Bank facilitated the embezzlement of millions of dollars from accounts of politicians and non-profit groups.
In 2012, Kinde Durkee, a campaign treasurer for high-profile Democrat candidates, pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud. The judge in the case sentenced her to eight years in federal prison. According to government prosecutors, First California Bank indirectly enabled Durkee because they ignored obvious evidence of fraud, theft and money laundering.
Prosecutors say that Durkee embezzled as much as $10.5 million from clients. Victims included Senator Diane Feinstein, US Representatives Loretta Sanchez and Laura Richardson, former California State Senator Lou Correa, former Assemblyman Jose Solorio and the Los Angeles Democratic Party.
According to federal investigators, Durkee shuffled millions of dollars between the accounts of her clients and her own personal accounts. Durkee siphoned off campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, including mortgage payments. She also used the money to pay employees, for home care for her elderly parents and luxury items, like season tickets to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Durkee is currently incarcerated in Seattle and could be released in February 2020.
Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney
Financial crimes often strike at the hearts of the victims. In this case, a US judge said that the embezzlement may also have negatively impacted the electoral process. If nothing else, it illustrates the seriousness of financial crimes. When you face embezzlement charges – especially federal court – hire an experienced embezzlement attorney. Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of experience as a courtroom criminal defense attorney. He fights aggressively for his clients, and will also fight for you.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County embezzlement case.
Photo Credit: Denise Cross Photography, via Flickr.com