Former CEO of Worley & Obetz pleads guilty to bank fraud, tax evasion charges

Jeffrey Lyons, the former CEO of Worley & Obetz, pleaded guilty Friday to bank fraud and tax evasion charges, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Lyons inflated the company’s revenue on its financial statements for Fulton Bank between 2003 and May 2018. As a result, the bank used the statements that it believed to be authentic to lend Worley & Obetz over $60 million. Two former controllers, Karen Connelly and Judith Avilez, were also charged for their alleged involvement in the crimes.

Charging documents said Lyons revised figures to reflect false profits or losses for each department and Connelly then allegedly entered those inflated numbers into accounts receivable. Avilez is accused of creating additional entries to make financial statements appear genuine.

Avilez and Connelly were also charged with bank fraud. They face up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Lyons’ tax evasion charge is for him not reporting over $650,000 in income received from Worley & Obetz back in 2013.

The company went out of business last year.

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