Rack up another notch for the growing list of corrupt amongst our Republican leaders. Caught with his hand in the cookie jar, California Rep. “Duke” Cunningham pleaded guilty this morning to “conspiracy and tax charges involving the sale of his home two years ago to a defense contractor at an inflated price.”
Admitting to a judge that he took bribes, Cunningham entered pleas in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004.
Cunningham, 63, and his wife, Nancy, used the proceeds from the $1,675,000 sale to defense contractor Mitchell Wade to buy a $2.55 million mansion in ritzy Rancho Santa Fe. Wade put the Del Mar house back on the market and sold it after nearly a year for $975,000 — a loss of $700,000.
Cunningham answered “yes, Your Honor” when asked by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns if he had accepted bribes from someone in exchange for his performance of official duties.
He could get up to 10 years in prison at sentencing Feb. 27 on federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and fraud, and tax evasion.