Disgraced Democrat Troy Kelley faces 17 indictments of criminal activity, the most serious of which carries a 20-year prison sentence. Despite the reality that he has lost the public’s trust, Kelley refuses to resign and continues drawing a public paycheck as State Auditor.
The charges against him include “possession of stolen property, money laundering, lying in a deposition and filing false tax returns.” Kelley is also accused of illegally collecting more than $3 million and moving the stolen money from account to account in an attempt to hide it.
Kelley’s federal trial started last week. The prosecution claims that Kelley stole millions of dollars when he ran a real-estate services company before he became auditor.
In what can only be called unique defense, his attorney claims that no one at Kelley’s real-estate company “promised borrowers they’d get their fees back.” However, they insist that when borrowers complained, Kelley gave them refunds.
Kelley’s attorneys describe it as a “Nordstrom return policy” defense. Apparently, like the retail chain, Kelley “was trying to keep customers satisfied, even if he wasn’t obligated to issue a refund.”
Only, that’s not exactly what happened. Via the Seattle Times:
“Developer Krista Thoreson, of Snohomish, fell into the latter category. When she and her husband sold seven residential units in 2007, she noticed duplicate fees on her closing documents. The couple had already paid their lender for “reconveyance” services, but Post Closing Department was charging $135-$145 for each unit, for a total of $955.
“After months of emailing and calling her banker and escrow officer, she received a check from Kelley for $850: the $955 total, minus Kelley’s fee of $15 for each of the seven transactions.”
As far as we know, Nordstrom doesn’t sneakily charge customers more than the price tag on an item and then, when the customer notices and asks for the money back, only return a portion of the money stolen.
Try again Kelley.