Former Worley & Obetz Executives Ordered to Trial after Prelims Over $1 Million Scam
The former CEO and controller of a Manheim-based energy business were ordered this week to be tried in Lancaster County Court for years-long, alleged misuses of company funds covering the CEO’s personal credit debt.
Jeffrey B. Lyons, former CEO of Worley & Obetz, and Karen L. Connelly, former controller for the company, had preliminary hearings at District Judge Edward Tobin’s courtroom.
Lyons waived a hearing Wednesday on all charges, according to First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen.
District Judge Tobin found enough evidence was presented at a two-hour hearing Thursday to also bound over Connelly’s case.
Both are free on bail, posted by bondsmen - Lyons on $1 million and Connelly on $50,000.
Northern Lancaster County Regional police determined Worley & Obetz funds covered over $1 million in Lyons’ credit card debt, with Connelly authorizing most of the payments.
Connelly made mention of a “package deal” that involved payment of Lyons’ credit debt; owners Seth and Robert Obetz said there was no such arrangement made to have company funds pay for Lyons’ credit debt.
The payments covered: trips and plane fare, online shopping purchases, gym memberships, home projects, spa services, dining costs, college costs for a relative, and other costs.
At Connelly’s hearing, Larsen called Detective Theresa Stauffer to testify of the misuse of funds, which were recorded in company paperwork as “cost of goods.”
Police identified a number of credit card accounts linked to Lyons and paid by company funds. In all, investigators documented $1.015 million in company funds that went to the card accounts.
Lyons, 57, is charged with six felonies: five variations of theft and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, a first-degree felony.
Connelly, 64, is charged with two felonies: dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities and conspiracy to commit theft.
The investigation is ongoing.
Lyons and Connelly are presumed innocent.
Detective Stauffer filed charges.
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