Take A Tour Of The Florida Vacation Home Of Dixon’s Indicted Ex-Comptroller

(CBS) — Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell allegedly stole $53 million from the Northern Illinois city for almost 22 years, and now CBS 2 has an exclusive look inside the Florida vacation home that authorities say was financed and built using taxpayer dollars.

The 3,300-square-foot, 2-bedroom, 3-bathroom home is located in Englewood, Fla., about 80 miles south of Tampa, just outside Sarasota on the West Coast.

According to Charlotte County, Fla. property documents, Crundwell bought the land back in 2009 for $115,000. Construction on the existing structure started immediately expanding the home from the original 1,064 square foot home to its now 3,316 square feet. According to Charlotte County property documents, the house was assessed last year for $267,000.00.

CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey got an exclusive, first-hand look at the Florida vacation home. Authorities say almost all of the furniture in the home was custom-made from three different furniture dealers in Oklahoma City, OK.

Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector for the U.S. Marshal’s Service, says his office has obtained receipts showing that in late November 2010 Crundwell ordered more than $42,000 in custom furniture from a single dealer then had it shipped to the Florida location.

“No expense was spared in furnishing this property,” Wojdylo said.

Marshals are still tallying the estimated total amount that Crundwell’s furniture costs but they’re not expected to publicize the final appraised value.
Marshals are still tallying the estimated total amount that Crundwell’s furniture costs but they’re not expected to publicize the final appraised value.
Federal authorities now have an extensive inventory of Crundwell’s personal property. According to court documents, a federal judge ordered her five properties to be sold or auctioned at a later date.

They include: a single family residence located at 1679 U.S. Rt. 52 in Dixon (Crundwell’s personal residence); the horse ranch property located at 1556 Red Brick Road in Dixon; a single-family residence located at 1403 Dutch Road in Dixon, where some of Crundwell’s extended family currently lives; approximately 80 acres of vacant land located in Lee County, and the vacation property.

Her Florida home may not sell for much. That’s because it’s in the middle of a modest neighborhood.

“Look at the structures in this community,” Wojdylo says. “Most of them are cinder-block, sort of like building a castle in the middle of a relatively depressed area.”

So far, marshals have auctioned off more than 400 quarter horses, along with a 2008 custom motor home, 10 vehicles or trailers and numerous pieces of horse equipment. Marshals expect another auction to take place in the next 30 to 45 days.

Meanwhile, Crundwell is due back in federal court on Nov. 14 in Rockford. The former Dixon comptroller is also charged by the state with 60 counts of theft. For those charges, Crundwell is scheduled for arraignment in Lee County on Wednesday.

Rita Crundwell was the comptroller for the city of Dixon 1983 to 2012. Federal authorities allege that she stole $53 million from the city during her tenure. She was arrested at Dixon City Hall in April after Dixon Mayor James Burke found suspicious activity on city bank accounts.

Federal authorities have charged Crundwell with one count of wire fraud. She pleaded not guilty in federal court back in April when she was released on $4,500 bond.
More can be seen at
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/10/25/take-a-tour-of-the-florida-vacation-home-of-dixons-indicted-ex-comptroller/

Former Dixon comptroller appears in county court

DIXON, Ill. (AP) — Former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell has made her first court appearance in the northern Illinois city to face charges she siphoned millions of dollars in public funds into a secret bank account.
The 60-count theft case in Lee County Court is separate from the federal case in Rockford in which Crundwell is charged with a single count of wire fraud.
She is suspected of stealing more than $53 million over two decades and using the money to sustain a lavish lifestyle and a nationally renowned horse-breeding operation. She was arrested in April and has pleaded not guilty in the federal case.
On Monday, Crundwell told a Lee County judge she would also need a public defender in the state case.
The (Dixon) Telegraph reports (http://bit.ly/POOXI1 ) her arraignment is Oct. 31.

Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/news/crime/article/Former-Dixon-comptroller-appears-in-county-court-3974988.php#ixzz2AHCKw6NY

http://www.ctpost.com/news/crime/article/Former-Dixon-comptroller-appears-in-county-court-3974988.php

Rita Crundwellto appear in local county court

DIXON (WREX) –
The former Dixon comptroller accused of stealing over $53 million from the city over the course of two decades, made her first court appearance in Dixon on Tuesday.

Rita Crundwell faces 60 counts of theft in Lee County, in addition to a separate, federal charge of wire fraud. Officials say Crundwell used the money she allegedly took to fund a national horse-breeding operation and an extravagant lifestyle for herself. She was arrested in April of this year, and pleaded not guilty to the federal charge of wire fraud in May.

Crundwell’s arraignment is scheduled for October 31. She requested a public defender during Tuesday’s court appearance.

Great article at http://www.wrex.com/story/19894421/crundwell-makes-first-appearance-in-lee-county-court

RITA CRUNDWELL APPEARS IN LEE COUNTY COURT FOR THE FIRST TIME

Former Dixon City Comptroller Rita Crundwell has made her first Lee County court appearance.

The state has filed 60 counts of theft against her. Crundwill appeared with her federal public defender Paul Gaziano who explained to the judge that Crundwell’s assets had all been seized and disposed of in the federal case against her. When asked by Judge Ron Jacobson if she needed a public defender, Crundwell reported that she did.
Lee County Public Defender Bob Thompson was assigned to the case. It was Thompson’s first appearance with Crundwell. He requested more time for an arraignment and Judge Jacobson scheduled it for Oct. 31st.

The Indictment of Crundwell on 60 counts of theft was secured by Lee County State’s Attorney Henry Dixon in September. Crundwell also faces one federal charge for wire fraud. She is accused of stealing $53 million from the city of Dixon over more than two decades.

great content at…
http://www.rivercountry1017.com/Rita-Crundwell-Appears-in-Lee-County-Court-For-the/14594736

Crundwell Property Left to Sell

DIXON (WIFR) — The criminal case against Rita Crundwell is moving forward. The former Dixon comptroller is accused of stealing more than $50 million from the city. This morning during a criminal and civil hearing, Crundwell appeared with her attorneys in front of Judge Mahoney, where he asked for an update on the sale of Crundwell’s property.

The U.S. Department of Justice has sold all but one of Crundwell’s more than 400 horses. The bidder who bought that horse during an online auction last month, didn’t pay up. Now, the horse is up for sale online through tomorrow night. You can bid on the horse at www.professionalauction.com

U.S. Marshals say they still need to sell several things, including nearly a dozen vehicles, which will be sold at an auction in Chicago on October 20th. For more information on that auction visit www.mensikautoauctions.com.

Some boats and custom-made furniture also need to be sold, as well as five pieces of land; Crundwell’s ranch and home in Dixon, her home in Englewood, Florida, and two pieces of land, one for 80 acres and one for 40 acres in Lee County. Right now, inspectors are working with the EPA to remove stock-piled horse manure from those properties. Under the law it must be removed within 180 days, which will be November 1st.

Inspectors say they anticipate holding a community auction in November to sell some of Crundwell’s belongings. And there will likely be an online auction to sell some other things. Marshals will be taking pictures and logging property over the next few weeks. We’re told everything should be sold by Christmas.

Also today, both parties agreed to send the criminal case to Judge Philip Reinhard. He’s the judge who will see this case through, whether there is a trial or plea deal. Crundwell will appear in front of Judge Reinhard on November 14th. Also on the 14th, there will be another hearing on the civil case.

http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/Crundwell-Property-Left-to-Sell-173575871.html?ref=871

Crundwell back in court

It’s back to court Wednesday for Rita Crundwell. Crundwell will be in Federal Court for a status hearing.

The former Dixon comptroller is accused of embezzling more than $53 million from the city of Dixon.

This kind of hearing is an informal discussion where the defendant, prosecution and judge discuss the case and the defendant has an opportunity to change their plea if necessary. Crundwell faces one federal count of wire fraud.

Almost three weeks ago, federal marshals auctioned off Crundwell’s collection of more than 300 horses for nearly $5 million.

The status hearing is set for 11 a.m.

Crundwell also faces 60 counts of state charges for felony theft.

By Clay LePard

clepard@cbs4qc.com