A Texas auto magnate has been indicted on charges that he paid a purported former Israeli soldier and two ex-Marines $750,000 to kidnap and kill a former mistress and her boyfriend, federal prosecutors said Monday.
The man, Eric Charles Maund, whose family runs Volkswagen and Toyota dealerships in and around Austin, is alleged to have hired the trio to rub out Holly Williams, 33, and William Lanway, 36, in March 2020, police and prosecutors said.
Lanway had threatened to expose Maund’s “relationship” with Williams, the indictment says.
Maund, who is 46 and married, and the three other people have all been charged in a three-count indictment with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping resulting in death, and carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during a violent crime, prosecutors said.
If they are convicted, they could face life in prison.
A manager for the family’s Volkswagen dealership in Austin did not reply to a request for comment.
“This investigation began with the discovery of two bodies inside a vehicle on Good Friday 2020,” said John Drake, the chief of police in Nashville, Tennessee, where the victims were based.
The chain of events that resulted in two deaths and four arrests began Feb. 5, 2020, when Maund, who sometimes visited a relative in Nashville, sent Williams a text message, prosecutors said.
“Good day beautiful!” it said, according to the indictment. “Looking forward too (sic) later. I’ll meet you in the bar like last time. Text me when you arrive.”
On March 1, 2020, Maund got a text message back from Williams’ number, but the sender was Lanway, and he wanted money, prosecutors said.
The same day, Maund reached out to Gilad Peled, 47, of Austin, “who held himself out to be a former member of the Israeli Defense Force” and owned a business called Speartip Security, prosecutors said.
“Responding to extortion demands was a service that Speartip Security advertised on their website,” the indictment says.
Maund also “enlisted” the help of ex-Marines Bryon Brockway, 46, who owned a security company in Austin, and Adam Carey, 30, of Richlands, North Carolina, prosecutors said.
Peled and Brockway did not immediately reply to requests for comment. A phone number listed in Carey’s name was disconnected.
The indictment did not describe how they were believed to be associated with Maund. It said Maund hired them either “directly or indirectly.”
The four plotted to confront the couple at the Nashville apartment complex, shoot them in their heads and dump their bodies at a construction site elsewhere in the city, prosecutors said.
Starting March 11, 2020, Maund began wiring the money from his bank account to an account controlled by Peled, prosecutors said. Williams’ and Lanway’s bodies were discovered April 10.
All four men were arrested, Nashville police said.
Carey was convicted in 2018 for impersonating a police officer, said Brooke Reese, a spokeswoman for the Nashville Police Department.