Stark County woman pleads guilty to defrauding Maui Jim

Maui Jim in Peoria
Maui Jim in Peoria(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 3:50 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - A Bradford, Illinois woman pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud sunglasses manufacturer Maui Jim, her then employer.

Erica Hornof, 36, of the 300 block of Enterprise Drive, pleaded guilty Monday.

In court, she admitted guilt to all six charges. During the hearing, the government alleged she, as a long-term employee and a lead-repair technician, was responsible for fixing sunglasses and therefore had access to the parts to construct them.

According to a Department of Justice release, Maui Jim conducted an internal investigation that revealed Hornof had, in fact, been stealing sunglasses parts.

The DOJ says she used the stolen parts to assemble sunglasses and sold them to two people who then sold them on eBay.

The mail fraud charges stem from her use of using the U.S. Postal Service to send the stolen goods.

The wire fraud charges come from her use of a PayPal account to transfer payments to her account at Princeville State Bank.

The indictment alleges Hornoff defrauded Maui Jim of more than $100,000.

She faces statutory penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, followed by up to a three-year term of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine on each of the six counts.

She remains free on bond, pending her sentencing on June 15 at the U.S. Courthouse in Peoria.