The government has vowed to retry Kelley on 14 charges alleging he stole upward of $3 million from customers of his real-estate reconveyance fee company by failing to refund money they were owed.

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A panel of judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected an appeal by departing State Auditor Troy Kelley, ruling federal prosecutors can retry him on several tax-related felony charges stemming from his defunct real-estate reconveyance business

The three judges unanimously rejected Kelley’s claim that retrying him on the tax charges would constitute double-jeopardy, or trying Kelley twice for the same crime.

The appeal stemmed from the sole verdict the jury was able to reach in Kelley’s trial last spring in Tacoma. The jury deadlocked on14 counts, including the key charges of theft, money laundering and tax evasion after a six-week trial.

On the sole count it could agree on, the jury acquitted Kelley of lying to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The defense argued that the jury must have believed Kelley in that instance, and that as a result five other tax-related allegations facing Kelley were not viable and should be dismissed. The appeals court, in a single paragraph ruling, disagreed and returned the case to U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton for trial on the tax counts.

The government has said it intends to retry Kelley on all of the charges, including theft and money-laundering counts that were not addressed in the appeal.

Kelley’s trial attorney, Angelo Calfo, said he would study the ruling before deciding on the next course of action.

Even before the verdict, Kelley had said he would not seek re-election. His term expires in January.

The government has alleged Kelley stole upward of $3 million from homebuyers during the pre-recession real-estate boom by failing to make refunds to clients of his now-shuttered real-estate reconveyance company, Post Closing Department.

Kelley’s trial involved more than 100 witnesses and tens of thousands of pages of exhibits. Prosecutors faced an uphill battle proving Kelley played any more fast and loose than many other reconveyance firms during the red-hot pre-recession real-estate market. Not making refunds was common and led to dozens of lawsuits, most of which were dismissed.

Kelley paid $1.1 million to settle one such lawsuit filed against Post Closing Department, according to records.

Kelley came under investigation by the IRS and the FBI after his successful 2012 campaign for auditor when his opponent pointed to a 2009 lawsuit alleging that, while operating Post Closing Department, Kelley failed to refund real-estate fees to homebuyers.

The investigation focused on the dealings of the company between 2003 and 2008.

Prosecutors said the company collected between $120 and $140 from each of tens of thousands of escrow customers to perform services Kelley promised could be done for between $10 and $20. The remainder of the money, according to testimony at his trial, was intended to cover county and recording fees.

Any money left over was supposed to be refunded but wasn’t, prosecutors said. Kelley, they alleged, amassed more than $3 million in unrefunded fees, at least $1.4 million of which was fraudulently retained.