Event venue owners claim employee embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars

Couple claims they uncovered $150K to $200K in lost revenue, pocketed cash

Event venue owners claim employee embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars

FLINT, TX (KLTV) - The Smith County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a woman who allegedly stole more than $100,000 from a local business. On Friday, the sheriff’s office posted that Holly Leann Elliott, 43, is wanted for alleged embezzlement.

Bill and Eva Sealey own Centaur Arabian Farms, an event venue in Flint, and say they hired Elliott in 2014. They claim they uncovered $150,000-$200,000 in pocketed cash plus lost revenue.

“She was offering outlandish discounts to brides and grooms to book and pay cash,” Eva Sealey said. “And if they paid cash, they would get the discounts and then she would meet them somewhere other than the office to pay cash, so it wasn’t traceable on our video cameras.”

Holly Leann Longino Elliott
Holly Leann Longino Elliott (Source: 2012 Smith County Judicial Records)

The Sealeys say they first discovered Holly’s alleged embezzling in August. The first of the weddings involved in Elliott’s scheme were in September, leaving the Sealeys with weddings they had no money for.

“We got a phone call from one of the people who paid in full that wasn’t on our books,” Bill Sealey said.

And when the couple called Elliott to clear things up, she hung up the phone.

“You just can’t describe how it feels,” Eva Sealey said. “We’ve cried and grieved a lot.”

With several events left that Elliott had a hand in, the Sealeys say they’re now focused on delivering for their customers.

“We’re just going to have to find a way to pay for them,” Eva Sealey said. “I don’t know how we’re going to do that. I just don’t know.”

The Sealeys say they’re not sure how far back the theft goes, but believe more than 20 weddings were involved in the embezzlement scheme. Many of the weddings never made it on the venue’s planning calendar.

“I don’t want anybody else to ever go through this again. And that’s why we’ve spent 24/7 going through all the information that we can. And I hope this ends with us.”

Anyone with information on Elliott’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-566-6600.

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