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Nancy Cunningham, the wife of disgraced former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, was officially saddled with the financial burden for her husbands crimes and admitted that she committed civil tax violations of her own, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced today.
Under an agreement approved by a federal judge, Nancy won’t face criminal charges but is now liable for more than $1.6 million in back taxes and penalties that her husband failed to pay on the at least $2.4 million in bribes he received from government contractors.
“It’s a big hit, there’s no doubt about it,” said Jason Forge, an assistant U.S attorney involved in the case. “Does it leave her penniless? I think by most people’s definitions, yes.”
As part of the agreement Nancy, who has maintained that she was unaware of her husband’s misdeeds until they were made public, admitted and acknowledged that the U.S. government’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against her “is not based on a lack of evidence that she committed criminal tax offenses.”
Nancy’s willingness to accept financial responsibility for her actions and her decision to cooperate with ongoing investigations were cited in the agreement as justification for the government’s leniency.
She also signed an agreement with the IRS in which she admitted to committing civil tax violations and promised to pay more than $1 million in taxes and more than $600,000 in penalties, according to a press release.
Nancy won’t get to keep any of the approximately $2 million in proceeds from the sale of the couple’s Rancho Santa Fe home, according to the agreement. Randy used more than $1 million in bribe money to finance the estate.
Nancy will also forfeit $760,000 in equity derived from a Del Mar home the couple owned prior to buying the Rancho Santa Fe home and Randy’s illegal activity. However, that money will be credited toward the couple’s debt.