A New Columbia woman allegedly bilked her business partner in an investment into a Union County pub, spending $90,364.27 on personal expenses rather than their joint enterprise, according to a state police investigation.
Melissa Erdly, 46, allegedly used the funds at grocery stores, gas stations, casinos, day spas, pharmacies and a veterinary clinic, police allege.
The funding came from a Small Business Administration loan totaling $478,500 through Service 1st Federal Credit Union, according to arrest papers.
Erdly and Douglas Engelman created Alpha & Omega Realty and purchased the former Fisher’s Pub, creating Rooney’s Pub at Datesman Station at 8911 River Road, New Columbia. They secured the loan in December 2016 and contracted Erdly’s business, 24/7 Erdly’s Construction, to complete $100,000 in renovations, police said.
Engelman told police Erdly drew $156,721.51 from the loan and used some funds on the renovations, according to arrest papers. However, state police found more than half the sum was allegedly misused between Dec. 9, 2016, and May 25, 2017.
Engelman told police $14,500 was to be spent on a new roof that was never installed, arrest papers state. The funds were deposited into Erdly’s business account, police said.
Engelman reported the allegations on May 7, 2018. The ensuing investigation led Trooper Adam Depauw, state police at Milton, to file two felony counts of theft against Erdly. Rooney's continues to operate.
Mifflinburg District Judge Jeffrey Mensch arraigned Erdly on the charges. He released her on her own recognizance. She didn’t have to post bail, signing a written promise to appear for court proceedings.
A preliminary hearing before Mensch is set for July 23. Erdly is represented by Williamsport attorney Michael Rudinski, according to the online docket.