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State auditor’s trial set to begin in federal court

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Troy Kelley

SEATTLE (AP) — Auditor Troy Kelley,  the first Washington state official to be indicted in 35 years, faces a federal trial beginning Monday with hopes of convincing jurors that the $1.4 million he’s accused of stealing before he was in office wasn’t stolen at all.

The 51-year-old Democrat from Tacoma is charged with possession of stolen property, money laundering, lying under oath and tax offenses in connection with the real-estate services firm he operated during last decade’s housing bubble.

Prosecutors say he pocketed fees that he should have returned to thousands of homeowners, but Kelley’s lawyer, Angelo Calfo, insists his client was entitled to keep the money.

Jury selection begins Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.  The trial is scheduled to last four weeks.