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Former Worley & Obetz execs ordered to trial

Jeffrey Lyons and Karen Connelly

The former CEO and controller of Manheim-based energy business Worley & Obetz are headed to trial in Lancaster County on charges they scammed the company of more than $1 million.

Jeffrey Lyons, former CEO, and Karen Connelly, longtime controller for the company until her retirement in 2016, had preliminary hearings this week.

Lyons waived a hearing Wednesday on all charges, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office.

District Judge Edward Tobin found enough evidence was presented at a two-hour hearing Thursday to also bound over Connelly’s case.

Earlier this year, Northern Lancaster County Regional Police discovered Worley & Obetz funds paid for more than $1 million in Lyons' credit card debt, and that Connelly authorized most of the payments.

During their investigation, police identified multiple credit card accounts linked to Lyons and paid by company funds.

Investigators documented $1.015 million in company funds that went to the card accounts.

According to the DA's office, Connelly mentioned a "package deal" that involved paying Lyons' debts.

Company owners Seth and Robert Obetz said the company did not have an arrangement to have the company funds pay Lyons' debts, according to the DA.

The payments covered the following and more:

  • Trips and plane fare
  • Online shopping purchases
  • Gym memberships
  • Home projects
  • Spa services
  • Dining costs
  • College costs for a relative

Lyons and Connelly are free on bail -- Lyons on $1 million and Connelly on $50,000.

An investigation is ongoing.

Worley & Obetz shuttered its doors in June 2018, leaving several hundred people without jobs.

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