Key witness testifies in trial of indicted state Auditor Troy Kelley

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A former employee of the Washington state auditor on trial for federal money laundering and other charges has begun giving what could be key testimony in the case.

Jason JeRue worked for Troy Kelley’s former real-estate services firm. Prosecutors are accusing Kelley of pocketing $3 million he was supposed to refund to homeowners in that business a decade ago and before he took office.

The News Tribune reports ( ) JeRue testified Wednesday that a distressed Kelley called him one day, asking him how many checks he had and directing JeRue to start writing refund checks to homeowners.

Lawyers for Kelley, the first Washington official indicted in 35 years, say he was entitled to keep the money.

JeRue has been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony in the case.

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