HB woman guilty of Key Royale Club embezzlement

    Holly Connelly was found guilty May 11 of charges she schemed to defraud more than $50,000 from the Key Royale Club by Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Thomas Krug at the Manatee County Judicial Center, Bradenton.

     “It was an open plea to the court,” said assistant state attorney Christopher Nigro. “She pleaded no contest” and the court adjudicated the embezzlement charges with a finding of guilt, he said.

         Connelly’s sentencing hearing will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 27. At the sentencing, Nigro expects the court to hear testimony from Connelly’s family and friends and from the victims.

    Connelly faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on the first-degree felony of defrauding her former employer. She was the bookkeeper for the Holmes Beach club between June 2008 and April 2011.

    Connelly pleaded not guilty in August of 2011 and originally demanded a jury trial.

    The plea heads off a May 21 trial date. The case was set for hearing May 7, but then was continued to May 11.

    An affidavit of Holmes Beach Police Department Detective Michael Leonard indicates Connelly embezzled $387,181 during three years of employment by writing checks to herself and by forging and depositing checks directly into her own bank account.

    A Holmes Beach police investigation into embezzlement at the club, 700 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach, led to Connelly’s arrest.

    Following her June arrest and detention in Manatee County jail, she was released on $15,000 bond, after the original $500,000 bail was reduced by an Aug. 31 court order.

    Connelly was required to surrender her passport, live in Manatee County, and observe a curfew that prohibited her from leaving her residence 7 p.m.-7 a.m. except for work purposes. She also was required to wear an ankle monitor 24 hours a day until the disposition of her case.

    On another Connelly court matter, a child support enforcement matter case, a notice of delinquency was filed May 1 against Phillip D. Connelly, charging him with $1,337 in child support arrears.

    Holly Connelly is represented now by assistant public defender Jennifer Fury. At Islander press time, Fury had not returned calls for comment.

        Krug will preside over the Connelly sentencing at the Manatee County Courthouse, Room 6A, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

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