Enumclaw private investigator indicted on fraud charge

SEATTLE (AP) — A former licensed private investigator in Washington state has been indicted on federal fraud charges.

Charlene Joy Keys operated Keys Research in Enumclaw. An indictment returned by a grand jury in Seattle on Thursday says she would search federal bankruptcy court proceedings around the country to find money that was owed to certain parties, then contact those people or businesses and offer to recover it for them for a cut of 20 to 25 percent.

But authorities say she frequently failed to give her clients all or even any of the money that was due to them. The indictment says she illegally retained $1.6 million by 2014 and spent it on her horse-breeding business, Advanced Thoroughbreds.

The state has revoked her private eye license.