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Press Release

Businessman Sentenced to More Than a Year in Federal Prison for Scheming to Embezzle Funds From Client

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

CHICAGO — A businessman who operated two companies in a Chicago suburb has been sentenced to more than a year in federal prison for scheming to embezzle more than $950,000 from a client.

DONALD E. MUDD, 66, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., pleaded guilty earlier this year to a mail fraud charge.  U.S. District Judge Elaine E. Bucklo on June 21, 2024, sentenced Mudd to 15 months in federal prison.  Judge Bucklo also fined Mudd $60,000 and ordered him to pay $951,755 in restitution.

Mudd was the president of Mudd-Lyman Sales and Services and the manager of Simply Service LLC, both of which were based in Skokie, Ill.  The businesses helped to market their clients’ products and facilitated the placement of goods in national hardware store chains.  One of Mudd’s clients was a New York-based sealant manufacturer where co-defendant RODNEY HAWKINS worked as a vice president.  Mudd admitted in a plea agreement that he schemed with Hawkins to embezzle funds from Hawkins’s employer by fraudulently inflating commissions and submitting false invoices for services that were never rendered.  After receipt of the funds from the false invoices, Mudd and Hawkins split the proceeds.

Hawkins, 57, of Newton, N.C., pleaded guilty last year to a mail fraud charge and admitted his role in the scam.  Hawkins is awaiting sentencing.

Mudd’s sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Petersen.

Updated June 26, 2024

Financial Fraud