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Pa. Energy Marketer, Electric Broker, Under Investigation, Notes "Potentially Fraudulent Activity"

June 04,2018

WGAL-8 reported that it had confirmed that, "an investigation is underway into potential fraud involving Worley & Obetz operations."

Worley & Obetz, whose primary business is marketing fuels and heating oil, acts as a broker/marketer for electricity in Pennsylvania and also appears to act as a broker/marketer for natural gas supply (though its license also authorizes it to serve as a supplier for natural gas). Worley & Obetz markets certain electric and natural gas supply products from AMERIgreen. AMERIgreen is a separate company, though it shares certain owners with Worley & Obetz

WGAL's report followed a statement from Worley & Obetz that referenced, "potentially fraudulent activity."

In a statement posted on its website, Worley & Obetz stated, "On May 21, 2018, we laid off 45 people in management and administrative roles from our various offices in PA and NJ. This comes a couple weeks after the disappearance of our CEO, Jeff Lyons. Due to potentially fraudulent activity, this has forced us to adjust our operating expenses to keep the company viable."

Philly Voice noted that neither the company's statement nor local media reports have identified Lyons as a subject of the investigation.

The company said an additional 60 layoffs will occur

"This is an inconceivable nightmare for everyone. We are doing everything we can to make this less traumatic for our employees. When we discovered the fraud, Seth Obetz immediately liquidated his life savings to keep the company going. We have a solid plan to keep the core of the company going and strongly believe we will come out the other side even stronger and customers will experience limited to no interruption. Our commitment to our customers has not changed and we will continue to provide home propane, heating oil, and heating & air conditioning services to meet the needs of our customers as normal," Worley & Obetz said in the statement

"The investigators are not revealing their progress, which they say will take weeks at least, but we are confident justice will be served. Our remaining team, our customers and even many of the unfortunate people who were laid off – even though none of them did anything except work very hard and provide great service to customers – have been incredibly supportive. It is both a humiliating and inspiring event. But it is an event that will pass, and we will all get through it one way or another," Worley & Obetz said in the statement

LancasterOnline reports that Worley & Obetz vice chairman Seth Obetz told the publication that, "We are almost completed with the divestiture of our commercial businesses. Our plan is to retain the residential heating oil, propane and HVAC business and employees."

Worley & Obetz   Pennsylvania  

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