Woman accused of bilking wedding venue out of thousands of dollars indicted in Smith County

Event venue owners claimed employee Holly Elliott embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars. She was indicted in September 2019.

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A Tyler woman was indicted on September 12 by a grand jury.

Holly LeeAnn Elliott, 43, was booked on charges of theft of property greater than or equal to $30,000 and less than $150,000. The grand jury returned a true bill, meaning that evidence is strong enough to support the need for a trial.

Elliott was indicted in Smith County’s 7th district court.

Elliott worked for Bill and Eva Sealey, owners of 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 due to Elliott’s actions.

“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.”

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 they said. Police then searched for Elliott

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

No word yet on when Elliott will go to trial.

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