Sen. Feinstein sues bank, treasurer over fraud

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Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee, listens as General David Petraeus testifies before Committee on his nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency June 23, 2011 in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

California’s senior U.S. senator Friday sued a Ventura County bank in an effort to track down missing campaign money. Dianne Feinstein’s long-time political treasurer is accused of defrauding several Democratic politicians.

Feinstein says she doesn’t know how much money is gone. First California Bank might know, but Feinstein’s political strategist Bill Carrick says the bank in question won’t release financial records.

That’s why the senator’s attorneys filed suit in Los Angeles. Carrick says the bank also claims it can’t give back any money because accounts were co-mingled.

Also named in the suit is campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee. She’s been charged with federal mail fraud and has admitted misappropriating campaign dollars from Feinstein and congresswomen Loretta Sanchez and Susan Davis.

Carrick says the fraud went unnoticed because Durkee kept shifting dollars from one campaign account to another. Davis called Durkee the “Bernie Madoff of campaign treasurers."

Durkee’s attorney did not return a phone call. Neither did First California Bank.

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