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California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is the latest lawmaker claiming to have been looted of campaign cash by a Democratic treasurer who's been likened to Bernie Madoff.
Feinstein's campaign, which had a cash balance of $5 million on June 30, believes it suffered losses but does not know how extensive they were, according to campaign adviser Bill Carrick.
The campaign is blaming Kinde Durkee, who managed the senator's finances for years along with the accounts of several other top California politicians. Durkee was arrested and hit with fraud charges earlier this month. U.S. Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., told her contributors in a letter released Monday that her campaign was robbed of about $250,000.
Feinstein's office said the senator was "wiped out" along with the other lawmakers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Carrick said Durkee commingled clients' funds, making it difficult to understand whose money went where.
"This is an extraordinarily complex situation," Carrick said. "Nobody really knows what happened here."
Durkee had authority over more than 400 bank accounts, including political campaigns, according to the federal complaint filed earlier this month.
The complaint said investigators found substantial sums were routinely placed into her company accounts or channeled to other campaigns, apparently when suspicions were raised about missing money.
Davis told supporters that reports to the Federal Election Commission accurately reflected her contributions and spending, but Durkee falsely reported account balances to the campaign. Davis tallied her losses at more than $250,000.
"As this scandal emerges, she may well become known as the Bernie Madoff of campaign finance treasurers," the San Diego Democrat wrote, referring to the Wall Street swindler in the email.
Davis, a six-term congresswoman in a heavily Democratic district, sought to reassure supporters in her email dated Saturday and released Monday.
Federal prosecutors say Durkee siphoned off nearly $700,000 from a California candidate to pay her credit cards, a mortgage and business bills.
A complaint outlines an elaborate shell game in which Durkee furtively shifted money out of state Assemblyman Jose Solorio's 2010 campaign to pay for an array of debts, from shopping at Costco to her mother's care at an assisted-living facility.
Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento, said more charges are likely.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.