On July 10, 2023, former Maui Jim employee Erica Lynn Hornof was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, along with three years of supervised release, for her involvement in mail and wire fraud. Hornof, a long-time employee of Maui Jim, stole parts from the repair area, assembled them into sunglasses, and sold them to buyers who then resold the stolen sunglasses on various websites. Over a 16-month period, Hornof received over $100,000 from the buyers, causing an intended loss of $749,000 to Maui Jim. In addition to her prison sentence, Hornof has been ordered to pay $125,472.48 in restitution to the company.
Former Maui Jim Employee Sentenced for Mail and Wire Fraud
Background on the Case
Erica Lynn Hornof, a former employee of Maui Jim, has been sentenced for her involvement in mail and wire fraud. The charges against Hornof relate to a theft scheme in which she stole parts from Maui Jim and used them to create sunglasses, which she then sold online.
Overview of the charges against Erica Lynn Hornof
Hornof pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud. These charges stemmed from her theft of Maui Jim parts and her subsequent sale of the stolen sunglasses.
Details of the sentencing
On July 10, 2023, Hornof was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $125,472.48 in restitution to Maui Jim.
The restitution amount for the mail and wire fraud committed by Hornof was determined to be $125,472.48. This amount represents the value of the stolen sunglasses that were sold.
During the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid found that Hornof was responsible for selling approximately 2,996 pairs of stolen sunglasses, with each pair valued at $250. This resulted in an intended loss of $749,000 to Maui Jim.
Indictment and release on bond
Hornof was indicted in August 2022 for her involvement in the mail and wire fraud scheme. She was subsequently released on a personal recognizance bond, with conditions of pre-trial supervision.
Guilty plea and sentencing date
In March 2023, Hornof entered a guilty plea to all six counts of mail fraud and wire fraud. Following her guilty plea, a sentencing date was set for July 10, 2023.
Statutory penalties for mail and wire fraud
The statutory penalties for each count of mail and wire fraud include up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, there is a potential for up to three years of supervised release following a conviction for these charges.
Evidence Presented in Court
During the sentencing hearing, evidence was presented to establish Hornof’s involvement in the theft scheme and her role as a long-term employee of Maui Jim.
Hornof’s role as a long-term employee of Maui Jim
The government presented evidence that Hornof was a long-term employee of Maui Jim. She held the position of lead Frame Repair Trainer during her employment.
Description of the theft scheme
Hornof’s theft scheme involved stealing Maui Jim parts from the repair area and using them to create sunglasses. She would then package the sunglasses with a cleaning cloth and warranty card before shipping them through the Maui Jim mailroom.
Selling of stolen sunglasses
After creating the sunglasses, Hornof sold them to two buyers, who then sold them on various websites. Over a 16-month period, Hornof received $104,860 from the two buyers for the stolen sunglasses.
Statements made by Hornof to FBI agents
In a later statement to FBI agents, Hornof claimed that the individuals to whom she sold the sunglasses were unaware that they were stolen. This statement was taken into consideration during the sentencing hearing.
Various details of the investigation were revealed during the case, including the involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the location of the investigation.
Involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI, specifically the Springfield Field Office – Peoria Resident Agency, was involved in the investigation into Hornof’s mail and wire fraud activities. Their efforts were instrumental in building the case against her.
Location of the investigation
The investigation into Hornof’s criminal activities took place in Bradford, Illinois, where she resided and committed the theft scheme. The specific location of the investigation was not disclosed.
Representation of the government in the prosecution
The government was represented in the prosecution of Hornof’s case by Criminal Chief Darilynn J. Knauss. Her work was essential in presenting the evidence against Hornof and advocating for the appropriate penalties.
Related Financial Fraud Cases
In addition to Hornof’s case, there have been other recent cases of financial fraud that are worth noting.
Overview of a recent similar case
One recent case that bears similarities to Hornof’s case involves the owner of an area restaurant. This individual was sentenced to time in the Bureau of Prisons and ordered to pay restitution for crimes related to COVID-Relief funds.
Sentencing and restitution details
The specific details of the sentencing and restitution in the recent similar case were not provided. However, it serves as an example of the consequences that individuals can face for financial fraud.
For more information or assistance regarding the case or related matters, individuals can contact the Central District of Illinois Main Office.
Central District of Illinois Main Office
- Address: 318 S. Sixth Street Springfield, IL 62701
- Email: [email protected]
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For specific inquiries or to reach a particular office within the Central District of Illinois, the following phone numbers can be used.
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- Urbana: (217) 373-5875
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For access to archives and additional resources related to the Central District of Illinois, individuals can visit the official website or contact the main office for more information.