U.S. Attorney Investigates Sale Of Congressman's Home

Congressman's Relationship Raises Eyebrows

Was it an error in judgment, illegal, ill-advised of unethical?

Randy "Duke" Cunningham

10News has learned the U.S.Attorney's office in San Diego has begun an investigation into the questionable sale of U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's, (pictured, right), Del Mar home. Sources within the agency told 10News the investigation was launched almost immediately after the media stories began to appear about the Cunningham's home sale.

In addition, The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting justice department sources in Washington D.C., are confirming the FBI has opened an investigation.

Voters Want Answers About Sale Of Home

Voters in Cunningham's district want to know more about the sale of a house that once belonged to the congressman.

"It's really not fair," one voter told 10News.

Another voter said, "It seems San Diego is becoming the head of corrupt politicians."

Mitchell Wade

According to 10News, a well connected defense contractor overpaid about $700,000 for the house. Mitchell Wade, the president of a company called MZM Incorporated located in Martinsville, VA. The company received Cunningham's support and millions of dollars in defense contracts.

Cunningham first bought the home in 1988 for $435,000. According to a Multiple Listing Service, he sold the property in November of 2003 for more than $1.6 million.

The home was immediately put back on the market by Wade. Eight months later, it sold for $975,000.

"At the time, I think they paid a little too much," said independent real estate agent Eric Elegado.

Elegado said Wade paid an inflated price for the Cunningham house in 2003, which means that the congressman made a lot of money.

10News has been in contact with Cunningham's local office in Escondido and his staff in Washington, DC.

Cunningham's chief of staff, Harmony Allen, said, "We know Duke has done nothing wrong."

At that time, Allen told 10News Cunningham may speak out on Friday.

The real estate office that arranged the deal between Cunningham and the defense contractor told 10News, "We are looking into it. We have absolute confidence in our agent procedures. (We) just can't make any further comment."

Elizabeth Todd, the agent who worked in that office, has yet to return 10News' phone calls.

In addition, a review of Federal Election Commission records revealed Wade and his wife have given Cunningham about $12,000 in contributions. The records also showed a political action committee or PAC called "MZM,INC PAC" contributed $6,000 to the Congressman in 2002 and $6,000 in 2004.

Cunningham is a member of the House appropriations subcommittee and helped Wade's company, MZM Incorporated, win contracts, 10News reported.

10News Learns Of Other Developments While Cunningham is in Washington, D.C. he lives in the Capital Yacht Club located on the Potomac River.

Yacht Club

The Congressman's yacht, the "Kelly C," is usually moored at the Club.

However, 10News has learned the congressman is now a live-aboard on another yacht owned by the same defense contractor who was involved in the questionable home sale of Cunningham's Del Mar home.

According to Coast Guard officials and public records, the defense contractor's yacht, the "Duke Stir" is a 42-foot, 34-ton boat. It is now moored where the "Kelly C" was originally.

According to the North County Times, the "Kelly C" "was removed for possible refurbishment and replaced by the Duke Stir.

10News received no comment after attempting to interview a Capital Yacht Club spokesperson about this story.

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