TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A title company worker who hired Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley's former real-estate services company says he promised to refund unused fees to borrowers — contrary to his claims at a federal trial in Tacoma.

Prosecutors have accused Kelley of pocketing $3 million he was supposed to refund to homeowners. Kelley has said he was entitled to keep the money.

Julie Yates, who ran Fidelity National Title's branch in Lynnwood, took the witness stand in U.S. District Court. She said she hired his company, Post Closing Department, in 2003 to track certain real estate transactions. She says Kelley said he would charge $15 per transaction for his services, but he would collect $100 from borrowers in case additional fees were needed. She says he promised to refund unused money back to customers.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Friedman asked her whether the refund promise was important to her in deciding to hire Kelley's company. She said, "Absolutely."