Indicted Washington auditor seeks return of seized $908,000

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Indicted Washington state Auditor Troy Kelley is asking a judge to force the Justice Department to return $908,000.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton is holding a two-day hearing beginning Tuesday to consider whether the money was properly seized.

Federal prosecutors in September obtained a civil warrant for the money, which was being held in trust by the law firm that previously represented Kelley.

The government says the money had been commingled with money that Kelley stole from clients of his former real estate services business, and he has no right to it.

Kelley, a 50-year-old Democrat from Tacoma, is charged criminally with possession of more than $1 million in stolen money as well as money laundering.

His attorney, Angelo Calfo, argues that the government has not made a showing that the money is subject to forfeiture.