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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright