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Political operative Durkee, who allegedly embezzled $8 million from California politicians, likely to plead guilty

Kinde Durkee is being charged with costing Southern California Democrats hundreds of thousands of dollars, siphoned from their campaigns.
Kinde Durkee is being charged with costing Southern California Democrats hundreds of thousands of dollars, siphoned from their campaigns. California Democratic Council, Henry Vandermeir/AP

Political operative Kinde Durkee is expected to plead guilty to embezzlement later this week in a plea deal, Politico reports. Durkee was the treasurer for numerous California Democrats; she allegedly stole more than $8 million from her clients. None of the money has been recovered to date.

Those clients included California's senior senator, Dianne Feinstein. Durkee had ties to hundreds of state, local and federal campaigns.

Among the money she allegedly embezzled is $4.5 million from Feinstein's Senate committee, $660,000 from a California state lawmaker's campaign account and more. Several of the affected politicians have filed suit against Burkee and the bank where their reelection money was being kept, First California Bank. Feinstein replaced the money for her campaign from her own pocket by cutting a $5 million check.

Other affected California Democrats include Rep. Linda Sanchez, Rep. Loretta Sanches and Rep. Susan Davis. Together, they lost approximately $1.4 million.

It's the largest embezzlement case in U.S. election history. Federal prosecutors are expected to recommend that Durkee be sentenced to between 11 and 14 years in prison. In addition to the embezzlement, Durkee's also expected to plead guilty to at least five counts of fraud.

The plea deal could be revealed as early as Friday.

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