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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Wash. State Auditor Acquitted of Lying to IRS

TACOMA, Wash. (CN) - A federal jury found Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley not guilty of one count of making a false statement but deadlocked on 14 other counts including theft, money laundering and tax evasion.

The verdict, announced Tuesday, was a setback for prosecutors who charged Kelley with stealing more than $1 million when he was operating a mortgage services company from 2003 to 2008.

In the original indictment, prosecutors claimed the 51-year-old Democrat used his business to accept payments from real estate title companies for document-tracking work.

The title companies withheld $100 to $150 on each loan to pay the fee, with Kelly's company keeping $15 to $20 as a fee. The rest of the money was supposed to be returned to homeowners, but prosecutors said Kelly kept all of the money and hid it from the title companies and the Internal Revenue Service.

The jury foreman said the panel was hopelessly deadlocked.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes thanked the jury, which spent over a month on the trial and four days deliberating. Hayes said the Justice Department is weighing its options for a retrial.

"My office will thoroughly review the counts that the jury deadlocked on before making a decision about our next steps in this case," Hayes said.

Kelley's attorney Angelo Calfo told reporters at the courthouse after the verdict, "The right thing for the government to do at this point would be to dismiss the remainder of the charges and let Mr. Kelley get on with his life."

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