Connelly released from jail

The former bookkeeper accused of stealing as much as $500,000 from the Key Royale Club bonded out of jail earlier this month.

Holly Connelly, 30, of Bradenton, is set to go to trial in May 2012. She faces one felony charge of scheme to defraud in excess of $50,000.

She was released from the Manatee County jail on $15,000 bond, an amount reduced from $500,000 by 12th Circuit Court Judge Gilbert Smith Jr. despite objections from the prosecuting attorney.

Under Smith’s release order, Connelly is required to live at a specific address, where she must observe a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.

She also must wear an ankle monitor 24 hours a day until the disposition of her case, and was required to surrender her passport.

Smith’s order also forbade Connelly from having any contact with witnesses or alleged victims in the case.

During a brief hearing Oct. 12, the judge authorized Connelly to leave Manatee County to work in adjacent counties, but she still must abide by the curfew.

A Holmes Beach Police Department investigation into alleged embezzlement at the Holmes Beach club led to Connelly’s arrest in late July.

Authorities charge that Connelly, while employed at the Key Royale Club, stole about $400,000 over a three-year period, and that there is evidence of the theft in bank records, including videotape.

Key Royale Club officials allege that Connelly stole about $500,000, including about $100,000 in ATM withdrawals.

The months before the scheduled trial likely will involve the deposing of witnesses, evidentiary review and hearings on pre-trial motions.

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