TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - A Tyler woman who embezzled more than $100,000 from a Smith County wedding venue was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.
Holly Leanne Elliott, 43, was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $117,630 and $10,000 in fines. The 10-year-prison sentence is the maximum allowed for the crime.
“She didn’t just steal their money, she stole their happiness,” said the prosecutor. "She has had every opportunity to get things right.
The state asked for the maximum sentence, while Elliott and her attorney asked about the possibility of probation.
In December 2019, Elliott pleaded guilty to third-degree theft. She was arrested in December 2018 following an investigation of missing money at Centaur Arabian Farms, an event venue in Flint where Elliott was employed.
Bill and Eva Sealey, the owners of Centaur Arabian Farms, previously said Elliott embezzled $100,000 to $200,000 by offering discounts to brides and grooms to book and pay cash.
“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,” Eva Sealey said in a previous interview.
The scheme left the Sealeys with weddings for which they had no money. Many of the weddings never made it on the venue’s planning calendar.