Judge dismisses 1 of 16 counts against Washington state auditor Troy Kelley

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Troy Kelley

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed one of the 16 charges against Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton made the decision Tuesday after testimony in the five-week fraud trial came to a close. The dismissed count alleged that Kelley lied under oath in a deposition in a civil lawsuit; the judge said he did not believe a jury could find Kelley guilty of that charge based on the evidence in the case, and therefore the jury shouldn’t consider it.

Closing arguments are set for Wednesday. The remaining charges include possession of stolen property, money laundering and tax evasion allegations, as well as other false statements.

The charges stem from Kelley’s operation of a mortgage services company at the height of the real estate bubble a decade ago. Prosecutors say he illegally retained millions in fees from homeowners and moved the proceeds among various accounts to hide the money.

The defense says the case boils down to a contract dispute rather than a criminal matter.

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