Troy Kelley’s Lawyer: Money Wasn’t Stolen
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A lawyer for indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is telling jurors her client didn't steal money from anybody or cheat on his taxes.
Patty Eakes delivered her opening statement Tuesday afternoon, saying that when escrow customers turned over money to Kelley's company, they gave up all ownership interest in that money. She said the criminal case boils down to a contract dispute.
Prosecutors say that when Kelley ran a real-estate services firm from 2005 to 2008 he lied to mortgage title companies to obtain and keep $3 million that should have been refunded to borrowers, then hid the money and avoided paying taxes on it. They say that as an attorney who has taught tax law himself he knew full well that what he was doing was illegal.
The trial is expected to last about four weeks at U.S. District Court in Tacoma.