Seth Obetz, a former executive of defunct energy firm Worley & Obetz, based in Manheim, Pennsylvania, is leading an effort to form a new energy company.
Obetz was vice chairman of Worley & Obetz, based in Penn Township, which closed on June 4 amid reports it is being investigated for an alleged fraud that could cost lenders millions of dollars.
In a related development, sister company Ranck Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was forced to close also on June 4. The company was in business for 65 years and had more than 70 employees. Ranck was acquired by Worley & Obetz early this year.
Obetz announced the venture on a website for the company, called Obetz Energy.
The goal is to begin operations in July, staffed by “a great group of former employees,” presumably former Worley & Obetz employees.
Products will include propane, heating oil, electricity and natural gas, plus heating and air-conditioning services.
Worley & Obetz, one of Lancaster County’s largest energy companies and in business for more than 70 years, discovered it had been victimized by a fraud that has yet to be publicly explained.
The company shut down its commercial side and laid off 100 employees after its bankers, already expecting up to $62 million in losses on its loans to the company, balked at Worley & Obetz’s plans to go forward.
In a written statement to local newspapers and TV stations, the company said the actions were “due to potentially fraudulent activity” and that the layoffs followed the mid-May “disappearance of our CEO, Jeff Lyons.”
That statement also said Obetz had “immediately liquidated his life savings to keep the company going,” and that the company provides “unemployment opportunity, COBRA coverage and job reference letters as requested.”
More details here.