Separating Cunningham's Assets From His Elbow

The U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego is trying to seize the home of eminently indictable California Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. This is not, mind you, the San Diego manse that Cunningham pawned of on his defense-contractor padrone Mitchell Wade, who then sold it at price $700,000 lower than what he paid his congressional protege. Nor is it "The Duke Stir," the puckishly named DC-area house boat that Wade quartered Cunningham rent-free for 15 months; that one's already been boarded and searched by the feds, plus the DC Yacht Club where it's docked is reportedly seeking eviction proceedings against Cunningham. This, rather, is the luxe Rancho Santa Fe compound that Cunningham put on the market last week for a cool $3.5 million. The U.S. attorney's office is seeking to get it forfeited to the feds since its "is derived from proceeds traceable to" alleged violations of federal bribery law. Should this tactic fail, though, there's always the old grab-Mitchell-Wade-by-his-ankles-and-shake-a-few-hundred-grand-from-his-pockets approach. Hey, it's got Cunningham this far.

Seizure of Lawmaker's Home Sought by U.S. Attorney" [Washington Post]


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