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Congressional Candidate Converted Funds|For Use in Political Campaign, Says Builder

SAN DIEGO (CN) - California Congressional candidate Kenneth King allegedly took $586,000 that was meant to pay for a construction project and used the money to fund his political campaign, a builder claims in a Superior Court complaint.

The action is brought by Welk Mountain Villas, a builder that had contracted with King's pool construction company, San Diego Pools, to build a $2.4 million pool. The builder says it paid King's company $766,000 to pay the subcontractors, but only $179,000 was actually used for that purpose.

A San Diego Pools representative admitted that King, a Republican, used the remaining $586,000 for personal expenses, the complaint states.

"(U)pon confronting Defendant San Diego Pools with the fact that it converted, stole and diverted the sum of approximately $586,964.43 to its own uses, its duly authorized representative represented that Defendants San Diego Pools and King had experienced financial problems and had other financial needs and had simply used the funds for those other purposes," the complaint states.

Federal Election Commission records show that King loaned his campaign $120,000 during the months when he refused to use Welk's money to pay suppliers, the complaint states.

"(W)hile records of the Federal Election Commission show a subsequent alleged repayment, those records fail to verify the actual repayment or to disclose the source and timing of the alleged repayment," the complaint states. The builder wants damages for fraud, conversion, embezzlement and bad faith.

The plaintiff is represented by Walter Taylor with Worley Schwartz Garfield & Prairie of San Diego.

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