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Troy Kelley Wins Hearing On Feds' Seizure Of Nearly $1M

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley
Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley

Judge Ronald Leighton took federal prosecutors to task this week, saying they may have overreached when they seized nearly $1 million from indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley in September.

The government seized of more than $900,000 that Kelley had entrusted to his former attorney. Prosecutors argued that money represents ill-gotten gains from Kelley’s alleged financial crimes. Kelley responded the seized funds are not “tainted” and challenges this pre-trial seizure as unlawful.

In his ruling, Judge Leighton said the government has engaged in an “elaborate chess match” with Kelley and said their tactics “present due process concerns.” The judge went on to say that Kelley has presented a “substantial claim” that he is “entitled to the prompt return of his property.”

Leighton has granted Kelley a December hearing to make his case. Kelley faces a 17-count indictment related to his past business practices and tax filings. The first-term Democrat is on leave of absence pending his trial in March.

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