SAN DIEGO – A company linked to a New York businessman who was convicted in a bid-rigging scheme helped Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (search) finance his Arlington, Va., condominium, court records show.
Coastal Capital (search) financed the $150,000 mortgage on Cunningham's two-bedroom condominium, according to records on file with the Arlington, Va., Circuit Court. In 2003, Coastal Capital financed $1.1 million in mortgages toward the purchase of Cunningham's seven-bath home in Rancho Santa Fe.
Coastal Capital is run by the nephew and daughter of Thomas T. Kontogiannis (search), a Long Island developer who pleaded guilty in October 2002 in a bid-rigging, bribe and kickback scheme involving New York City school computer contracts worth millions of dollars.
Cunningham's attorney, K. Lee Blalack, declined to comment Friday on the condo sale. Earlier this week, Blalack said "Duke's business dealings with Mr. Kontogiannis have been entirely proper."
A federal grand jury is investigating Cunningham's sale of a Del Mar, Calif., home in 2003 to a defense contractor at what may have been an inflated $1.675 million price.
Mitchell J. Wade, founder of defense firm MZM Inc., sold the home nearly a year later for $975,000, losing $700,000. Cunningham also lived on Wade's 42-foot yacht, the Duke Stir, docked in Washington, D.C.
Cunningham, an eight-term Republican representing the San Diego area, is a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Kontogiannis did not respond to messages left Friday at his home and work. Earlier this week, Kontogiannis said he bought Cunningham's boat in 2002 and the congressman offered to help him explore getting a presidential pardon, putting him in touch with a Washington law firm and recommending lawyers.
The Washington Post and Copley News Service disclosed the boat sale and Kontogiannis' financing of the Rancho Santa Fe house Tuesday, but not the aspect of Cunningham's Washington-area condominium.