Rita Crundwell’s cars, boats go to online auction

Another collection of items belonging to Rita Crundwell is being sold in an online auction, including her 1967 Corvette Roadster convertible.

The highest bid for the red two-seater was $26,510 as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, with 16 days remaining in the bidding.

Six vehicles are being sold in all, including a 2005 Ford Thunderbird, a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado, a 1998 Cobalt 25LS boat with trailer and a John Deere riding mower.

Also on the auction block is a 2009 50-foot U.S. Cargo Eliminator vehicle trailer with living quarters.

Another boat, a 20-foot 2000 Playbuoy Pontoon pleasure boat is to be added to the online collection in coming days. All bidding closes Dec. 6.

The auction websites are: http://qctimes.com/crundwellvehicles and http://qctimes.com/crundwelltrailer.

Rita Crundwell pleaded guilty last week to a federal charge of wire fraud, admitting she stole more than $53 million from the city of Dixon, Ill., while serving as the city’s comptroller. She also faces 60 felony counts of theft in Lee County. That case is pending.

http://qctimes.com/news/local/rita-crundwell-s-cars-boats-go-to-online-auction/article_ded2cd60-3331-11e2-9adf-0019bb2963f4.html

Rita crundwell pleads guilty

November 14, 2012 (ROCKFORD) — Her schemes to defraud the City of Dixon went on for more than 20-years. Rita Crundwell pleads guilty to federal charges Wednesday morning. Giving up her rights to a fair trial.

Rita Crundwell, 59 walked out of federal courts. She was surrounded by T.V. news cameras and reporters, but silent as questions are shouted at her.

All for a crime, prosectuors say, should have never been allowed to happen in the first place.

“For over a period of more than 21-years, which is certaintly at least as far as I know is the largest theft of public funds in Illinois history,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro.

The comptroller of Dixon admits she took more than 50-million dollars from taxpayers, and using it to support her lavish lifestyle and horse breeding operation.

“Her actions were sophisticated. It was a good scheme, but at the same time, they weren’t so sophisticated that now this is my opinion, a little bit better oversight to some of this could have been brought to our attention sooner,” said Acting Special F.B.I agent William Monroe.

U.S Marshals worked for several months to seize and to liquidate all of her assets, which includes including 400 horses.

They recovered around $7.4 million dollars through on site and online auctioning of her assets.

“I like to report to date that we have sold all those horses in a large quanity of tact and equipment; as well as 11 vehicles, which includes a customized luxurious motor home,” said U.S. Marshal Darryl McPherson.

But more assets such as real estate property and jewerly still needs to be auctioned off.

Shapiro hopes this crime will serve as an example for public officials that when it comes to public money there needs to be trust and verification.

“But it should serve as a lesson to public officials in other cities small and large and I say this recognizing its significance for the town of Dixon,” said Shapiro.

http://mystateline.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=364862

Crundwell personal items may be sold online

DIXON – Hundreds of personal items that belong to ousted Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell may soon be up for auction – online.

An online auction rather than a large public auction of items seized from Crundwell’s Dixon and Florida homes makes more fiscal sense, said Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector of the marshals asset forfeiture division….

from
http://www.saukvalley.com/2012/11/07/crundwell-personal-items-may-be-sold-online/acndwzm/

Crundwell pleads not guilty to theft charges

DIXON, Ill. — The mayor showed up early for Rita Crundwell’s arraignment, thinking the Lee County courtroom would be packed.

Instead, only seven people attended the former comptroller’s Wednesday hearing, including Mayor Jim Burke. The eight other spectators were members of the media.

Though she entered a plea of not guilty, the answer could not be heard from the gallery.

Crundwell, 59, is accused of stealing $53 million from the city of Dixon over a 20-year period. Prosecutors say she used the money to live lavishly and to support a horse-breeding operation, which was run primarily from an upscale ranch outside of town.

Her 401 horses, stabled in more than a dozen states, have been sold at auction by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Crundwell entered the fourth-floor courtroom Wednesday with her head bent down. The hearing lasted about five minutes, and she waived the reading of the 60 charges that have been filed against her in Lee County.

Each count is a Class X felony, which carry possible sentences of six to 30 years each. The amounts specified in each count range from $100,000 to $350,000, for a total of more than $11 million, which officials said disappeared over a period of two years and four months.

The state charges are in addition to a federal charge of wire fraud, which is pending. She has pleaded not guilty to the federal charge and is free on bond.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for Dec. 19.

“I got here early, because I thought it’d be standing room only,” Burke said after the arraignment.

He said it is possible many Dixon taxpayers declined to attend because they plan to rely instead on media accounts of the hearing. He added, “People in Dixon who really care … are looking forward, not back.”

Asked how the city is recovering from the financial losses, Burke said, “Now that we’ve got the outflow stopped, we’re doing much better.”

Crundwell’s ranch on Red Brick Road, just a few miles outside of town, appeared barren Wednesday, compared to the flutter of activity of recent months as the U.S. Marshals Service prepared her horse herd for auction.

At her home about a mile from the ranch, a next-door neighbor’s yard contains a campaign sign for County Attorney Henry S. Dixon — the man prosecuting her.

After her arraignment, Crundwell was led out a rear door of the courtroom.

http://qctimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/crundwell-pleads-not-guilty-to-theft-charges/article_7f8e3d88-2398-11e2-8d7e-001a4bcf887a.html