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Officials: Atkinson spent nearly $250K of campaign funds on personal use

Posted at 9:59 AM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 21:17:14-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Federal law enforcement officials say former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson plead guilty in federal court to a wire fraud scheme and used about $249,000 of campaign funds for personal use.

The new details came in a special announcement on March 11.

Officials say, Atkinson used about $20,000 for a Jaguar SUV, $75,000 on nightlife, and $100,000 on personal credit card use.

The plea agreement detailed that Atkinson hired a business consultant in 2016 using campaign funds to help open up The Urban Lounge in Downtown Las Vegas.

He paid them through PayPal, according to prosecutors.

“Theft of any kind is unacceptable, but theft of campaign contributions from a sitting public official are particularly troubling," says Nicholas Trutanich, state attorney.

RELATED: Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson resigns amid federal probe

Before his resignation last week, Atkinson, represented District 4.

He was elected to Nevada State Senate in November 2012, having previously served in the Nevada State Assembly since November 2002. He was named the Senate’s Majority Leader in November 2018.

Atkinson remains out of custody pending sentencing, which is scheduled for July 11.

The statutory maximum term of imprisonment for wire fraud is 20 years. He has agreed to pay $249,900 in restitution.

Watch the announcement below.