Republican Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and tax charges inolving 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.