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Press Release

Former Maui Jim Employee Must Serve Time and Pay Restitution for Mail and Wire Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

PEORIA, Ill. – A Bradford, Illinois, woman, Erica Lynn Hornof, 36, of the 300 block of Enterprise Drive, was sentenced on July 10, 2023, to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, to be followed by three years supervised release, after pleading guilty to three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud. Hornof must also pay $125,472.48 in restitution to Maui Jim.

At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, the government presented evidence that Hornof was a long-term employee of Maui Jim. While employed as a lead Frame Repair Trainer, Hornof stole Maui Jim parts from the repair area to make sunglasses, packaged them with a cleaning cloth and warranty card, used her personal FedEx account to create shipping labels, and then shipped them through the Maui Jim mailroom. She sold the sunglasses to two buyers who then sold the sunglasses on websites. The evidence established that over the 16-month period that Hornof was selling the sunglasses, she received $104,860 from the two buyers. In a later statement to Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents, Hornof said that the individuals did not know that the sunglasses were stolen.  Judge Shadid found that she was responsible for selling approximately 2,996 pairs of sunglasses, each valued at $250, for an intended loss of $749,000 to Maui Jim.

Hornof was indicted in August 2022 and released on a personal recognizance bond with conditions of pre-trial supervision. She entered a guilty plea to all six counts in March 2023.  Judge Shadid ordered Hornof to report to the designated prison by 2:00 pm on September 19, 2023.

The statutory penalties for each of the mail and wire fraud counts are up to 20 years’ imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine, to be followed by up to three years of supervised release.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office – Peoria Resident Agency, investigated the case. Criminal Chief Darilynn J. Knauss represented the government in the prosecution.

Updated July 11, 2023

Financial Fraud