CHICAGO (STMW) – Nearly $8 million has been collected from auctioning property and furniture formerly belonging to Rita Crundwell, the former Dixon comptroller who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $53 million from the city.
Of the $7,933,699 collected from the auction, the biggest amount came from the sale of Crundwell’s horses, which garnered $5,430,000, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The other top auction sellers were tack and equipment, which collected $892,945; and the online auction of a luxury motor home for $800,000.
Sales of Crundwell’s vehicles and boats totaled $387,570, while personal assets netted $275,734 and frozen horse semen yielded $98,500, according to the marshals office.
Crundwell’s five real estate holdings and her jewelry collection have yet to be sold.
Crundwell pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and admitted to money laundering as part of a plea agreement, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The 59-year-old faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 when she is sentenced Feb. 14 by Senior U.S. District Judge Philip Reinhard in Rockford.
Following her arrest on April 17, Crundwell agreed to a liquidation of assets acquired with proceeds from the decades-long fraud scheme. She agreed to restitution to the city of Dixon totaling more than $53.7 million, minus credit for funds repaid; and agreed to a forfeiture judgment in the same amount.
Dixon, with a population of about 15,733, is about 100 miles southwest of Chicago.
Crundwell served as comptroller and handled all of the city’s finances from 1983 until she was arrested.
According to the plea agreement, she opened a bank account in 1990, which she alone controlled, in the name of the city of Dixon. Between December 1990 and April 2012, she transferred funds from other city accounts and used it to pay personal and private business expenses.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)