Former Worley & Obetz CEO, controller headed to trial in $1M theft scheme

Lancaster

The former CEO and a former employee of a Manheim-based energy and HVAC business have been ordered to trial on charges they misused more than $1 million in company funds over several years.

Jeffrey B. Lyons, former CEO of Worley & Obetz, waived a preliminary hearing on all charges Wednesday.

Karen L. Connelly, the former controller for the company, was held for court after her hearing.

The Lancaster County district attorney’s office said Lyons used the company funds for trips and plane fare, online shopping purchases, gym memberships, home projects, spa services, dining costs, college costs for a relative, and other personal debts.

Connelly authorized most of the payments and had an inflated salary that was authorized by Lyons. After her retirement, her gas and home heating was paid with Worley and Obetz funds, and she continued to have access to the company accounting system, investigators said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Lyons, 57, of Manheim Township, is charged with six felonies including theft and money laundering.

Connelly, 65, is charged with felony counts of money laundering and conspiracy to commit theft. 

Both are free on bail.

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