SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A former Democratic campaign treasurer was sentenced Wednesday to more than eight years in federal prison for defrauding high-profile clients such as US Senator Dianne Feinstein in a case that a judge said tampered with the electoral process.
Kinde Durkee, who has been described by prosecutors as the Bernie Madoff of campaign treasurers, was sentenced to 97 months and ordered to pay $10.5 million in restitution after pleading guilty to five counts of mail fraud in March. It is unlikely that most of the money will be repaid, since Durkee has few assets.
During sentencing, US District Judge Kimberly Mueller emphasized the egregious nature of Durkee’s crimes.
Durkee, 59, apologized in court to ‘‘those who trusted me and I betrayed.’’
Durkee acknowledged in her plea deal to defrauding clients of more than $7 million, though prosecutors believe the figure is closer to $10.5 million.
Feinstein said she lost about $4.5 million in the scam.