Erik Charles Maund, a 46-year-old auto dealer executive from Austin, Texas and part of the Maund Auto Group, has been indicted in a plot to kidnap and kill a Nashville woman and her boyfriend, local news station KXAN reports. And yes, the story is as wild as it sounds.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Nashville woman in question was 33-year-old Holly Williams, a former girlfriend of Maund. In February 2020, Maund reached out asking to see her, as he was planning a trip to Nashville, Tennessee in the near future.
The next month, though, things took a turn. A man named William Lanway reached out to Maund to claim that he was in a relationship with Williams. Because Maund is married, Lanway threatened to expose the relationship to Maund’s wife.
Maund took it upon himself to hire Gilad Peled and Bryon Brockway, the former of whom is a former member of the Israeli Defense Forces. Peled owns a security services business that, among other things, claims to help clients deal with extortion threats. Another man, Adam Carey, was recruited to help. Carey and Brockway were both former Marines.
From the article:
The department says Maund withdrew $15,000 from his account on the same day an “intelligence report” was prepared and given to Peled. Next, the department says Carey and Brockway traveled to Nashville to watch Williams and Lanway.
After surveilling the couple, Carey and Brockway learned where the couple lived and what they drove, court documents said. On March 9, the DOJ says Peled received a document detailing this and promising they’d do whatever they could to stop the extortion.
The indictment says Maund transferred around $750,000 via wire from his bank account to an account controlled by Peled — as payment for the kidnapping and murder of Williams and Lanway.
According to the arrest affidavit, Brockway and Carey murdered Lanway and Williams with several gun shots to the head before disposing of them at a construction site.
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Essentially, the DOJ alleges that Maund orchestrated a murder-for-hire plot and is charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping resulting in death, and carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. Peled, Brockway, and Carey are facing the same charges.
Maund’s family runs the Maund Automotive Group, which has existed in some form since the 1950s and which currently owns and operates Volkswagen and Toyota dealerships in Austin.
Maund is facing trial in Nashville, though a date has not been set. If charged, all four men could face life in prison.