Reporting Marissa Bailey
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DIXON, Ill. (CBS) — Federal investigators say a former Dixon comptroller stole city money to finance her elaborate horse-breeding business.
Friday, authorities offered reporters a look inside the ranch Rita Crundwell built from scratch.
CBS 2′s Marissa Bailey takes us inside the expansive property and explains why Crundwell’s beloved horses will soon be up for sale.
Her multi-acre ranch is no simple operation.
There are horse pastures, barns, stalls, even custom tractor trailers. But it is the trophy room that tells the full story.
Tim Strathman is a horse veterinarian and worked for Crundwell for 15 years.
He was at the ranch the day federal investigators arrested his boss and says he was shocked.
“I’m sure everyone speculated as to the income stream that’s supporting it, but it was none of our business and we didn’t ask, and why would we?” Stratham says.
Crundwell’s initials can be found all over the ranch, inside the trophy room in particular — on custom coasters, on the floor and even on a custom lamp as well.
Since Crundwell’s arrest, U.S. marshals have taken over care of the award-winning quarter horses.
There are now more than 401 — 80 born since April alone — at a cost of $200,000 a month in maintenance.
It’s no small task even for the federal government.
Each horse will go up for sale in a two-day auction in September. Auctioneers say it’s already gotten worldwide attention. Click here for more information.