Bank settles in California political fraud case

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Updated: 7/17/2014 10:02 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California bank that handled the accounts of a former campaign treasurer for several high-profile Democratic politicians has agreed to pay $4 million in a settlement in a fraud case.

Attorneys for the politicians and First California Bank confirmed the settlement Thursday to The Associated Press. It includes $2 million for the campaign account of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who estimated she lost $4.5 million.

Authorities said the campaign treasurer, Kinde Durkee, had been carrying on an elaborate shell game in which she regularly shifted money between her clients' accounts while she siphoned off millions of dollars.

Durkee pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud last year and was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison.

The Democratic politicians and political committees said the bank should have known Durkee was embezzling money.

The bank acknowledged no wrongdoing while agreeing to the settlement.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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