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Dianne Feinstein files lawsuit against alleged swindler

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein has lost millions of dollars in campaign money in a case of alleged embezzlement.

The California senator has now filed a lawsuit against her former campaign treasurer.

Rep. Susan Davis from the 53rd Congressional District in the San Diego area called defendant Kinde Durkee “the Bernie Madoff of campaign finance treasurers.”

Durkee, who federal agents arrested Sept. 2 on mail fraud charges, has worked as Feinstein's campaign treasurer since 1992.

According to papers filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Durkee took advantage of a position of trust “to secretly siphon off money that was intended to support causes that are important to the American people.”

According to the lawsuit, Durkee “used the Feinstein Committees' money to cover her personal and business expenses, and to reimburse other elected officials' campaign funds from which she had also embezzled.”

Some of Feinstein’s biggest donors were from Hollywood, including Disney, Sony and the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Millions were allegedly stolen, according to the FBI.

Feinstein also sued a potentially deeper pocket, the First California Bank. The lawsuit alleges that the bank “intentionally ignored dozens of red flags, ignored its duties and obligations under state and federal law and allowed Durkee to perpetuate the scheme.”

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