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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 19, 2022

Former Maui Jim Employee Charged with Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud

PEORIA, Ill. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment on August 16, 2022, charging a former Maui Jim employee, Erica Hornof, 35, of Bradford, Illinois, with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud stemming from the alleged theft of sunglass parts from Maui Jim from 2021 until summer 2022.

The indictment alleges that Maui Jim, a sunglass manufacturer, maintains its world headquarters in Peoria.  As a Lead Repair Technician at the facility, Hornof had access to Maui Jim’s computer systems, inventory parts, and mailroom. The indictment further alleges that Hornof stole sunglass parts and used the parts to assemble sunglasses. After assembling the sunglasses, Hornof shipped the sunglasses to two individuals who sold them on the internet. The individuals then paid Hornof through a PayPal account. The indictment also alleges that Hornof defrauded Maui Jim of over $100,000.

A summons was issued for Hornof to appear in U.S. District Court in Peoria on September 19, 2022.

If convicted, the maximum statutory penalties for each of the counts is up to 20 years’ imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation. Criminal Chief Darilynn J. Knauss is representing the government in the prosecution.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. 

Updated August 19, 2022