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Fulton and F&M Trust confirm credit loss due to Worley & Obetz

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Fulton Financial Corp. Tuesday confirmed that Worley & Obetz Inc. is the borrower that caused the bank to lose millions of dollars. F&M Trust confirmed the same on Wednesday.

In a statement, Fulton said it typically does not identify customers or discuss their finances, but that the customer in this case, Worley & Obetz, had been independently confirmed.

"Fulton is saddened by the events that its long-time customer has experienced, and by the fact that those events caused that business to be unable to continue to operate," Fulton Financial said in its statement. 

The energy provider based in Penn Township, Lancaster County, closed Monday amid reports it is under investigation for alleged fraud on the part of an unidentified employee or employees.

Seth Obetz, the vice chairman of Worley & Obetz told LNP Monday that the company closed after its lenders pulled financing.

"As of this morning, we had high hopes that the lenders would go along with our plan to keep operating the residential heating oil, propane and HVAC business. However, this afternoon they notified us that they were closing the doors," LNP reported  Obetz as saying in the story.

Laura Wakeley, a spokeswoman for Fulton Financial, declined to confirm whether or not Fulton pulled financing. 

"Worley & Obetz was not able to continue operating, and it is linked back to the fraudulent activity that has taken place at that company," Wakeley said. 

Efforts to reach Obetz were not immediately successful. But a blog post on the company's website said Obetz liquidated his life savings in an attempt to save the company.

Fulton has reported that it expects a loss of about $32 million.

Dustin Haluska, corporate communications officer at F&M Trust - another bank that reported a multimillion-dollar loss due to fraud - confirmed Wednesday morning that the borrower responsible for its loss is Worley & Obetz.

S&T Bancorp Inc. and  Univest Bank and Trust Co. both declined to confirm whether or not Worley & Obetz was also responsible for their multimillion-dollar losses.

This story has been updated with comment from F&M.

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Shelby White

Shelby White covers banking and finance, law and Lancaster County for the Central Penn Business Journal. For tips, email her at swhite@cpbj.com.

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