Artwork eyed for auction, Convicted ex-Dixon comptroller’s trophies- Rita Crundwell

Most of former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell’s big-ticket possessions are long gone. The hundreds of championship horses, the lavish houses, custom jewelry collection, a motor home fit for a rock star — they’ve all been sold off as part of a unique effort to pay off Crundwell’s staggering $54 million judgment for looting the town’s coffers over more than two decades.

Now, with Crundwell serving a 191/2 -year prison sentence and her tab still north of $44 million, federal prosecutors want to seize a decidedly lower-rent collection of items from her former ranch in Beloit, Wis., where she used stolen funds to amass not only a world-class horse breeding business but also a laundry list of knickknacks, some on the tacky side. There’s framed artwork depicting a horse drinking beer, a chair made of horseshoes and a leather tissue box embroidered with Crundwell’s initials. There are monogrammed ashtrays, wagon wheels, horse sculptures and decorative pillows. Even a photo described as “Rita & Dogs” must go, the feds say. The most symbolic, though, of Crundwell’s seemingly insatiable greed might be her collection of more than 700 horse breeding and competition trophies that once littered her Meri-J Ranch.

Longtime Dixon Mayor Jim Burke said Friday that most of the remaining assets are “junk” that will probably wind up in a rummage sale but that the trophies go to heart of Crundwell’s crimes. Rather than trying to sell them, he’s going to propose that the Dixon City Council formally ask for the awards to be returned to the city, saying they could someday be used in a “teaching way” about the dangers of greed. “That was what it was all about,” Burke told the Tribune by telephone. “It wasn’t about horses, it was about trophies.”

Crundwell, who started working for the city’s Finance Department in 1970, pleaded guilty in 2012 to funneling money from various city accounts into a secret account she controlled. The thefts began in 1990 and grew bolder over time, peaking at $5.8 million in 2008 alone, according to her plea agreement. Authorities have called her massive theft perhaps the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history. In selling off many of Crundwell’s most valuable assets through a series of auctions, the U.S. Marshals Service has already recouped about $9 million for the city after expenses, court records show. The most prized of the 400 or so horses auctioned off in 2012 was Good I Will Be, a world-champion stallion that was purchased for $775,000 by a Canadian woman who had recently won a multimillion-dollar lottery jackpot. About a year later, though, the horse was euthanized after surgery at Texas A&M University Veterinary Hospital. Dixon received another windfall of $40 million in 2013 when it settled a lawsuit against its auditors and bank for failing to catch Crundwell’s wrongdoing. Just less than $30 million ended up in city coffers after legal fees. Later that year, several hundred of the city’s 16,000 residents turned out for a meeting to offer opinions on how the money should be allocated. While some advocated cash payouts to residents, most wanted the city to be cautious with the money, the mayor said. Burke said the city ultimately decided to use more than $20 million to boost reserves and pay down debt that had accumulated, largely because of Crundwell’s fraud. There have also been investments in long-term capital improvement projects. The city, best known as the boyhood home of President Ronald Reagan, recently completed a $6 million downtown streetscape project funded by the settlement money, Burke said.


Another project is in the works to connect two vital walking paths along the Rock River. Burke, who is stepping down in April after 16 years as mayor, realizes the city has been lucky to recoup so much of the losses, especially considering victims in many fraud cases never see a dime of their money returned. “We’ve been very prudent and reinvested in the city,” he said, “and we’re sitting in pretty darn good shape.” U.S. District Judge Philip Reinhard has yet to rule on the government request to seize Crundwell’s trophies and other items found at the ranch. Once they are dealt with, Burke said, there are still a few big-ticket items left that could mean even more restitution to the city, including the sale of Crundwell’s interest in two Dixon-area farms that total about 325 acres.



3 thoughts on “Artwork eyed for auction, Convicted ex-Dixon comptroller’s trophies- Rita Crundwell

  1. Everyone loved her and gave her the key to the vault. The town believed she was a wealthy horse breeder (Why would a wealthy horse breeder want to work every day for $80,000’a year?) Nobody questioned anything because she was pretty and rich. The same reason all con people succeed. The quarter horse world believed she had inherited gobs of money so they were in love with her, too. The appearance of wealth and power begets more wealth and power. The officials of her town should have to do some answering, also. They adored her and, as a result, betrayed the the people of that town.

  2. The best in class, Depoxito have the funds for you high-end experience that speak to the see and vibes of
    real VIP standarts, we provide you the best captivating to high-level experience of VIPs expect in any top stop casino, grand stimulate casino
    royale find the money for you the additional studio design element including the grand blackjack,
    offering our VIP Customer the best experience of a Salon privee table.

    New style table next feature across the room following grand roulette upgraded upon our provider
    playtechs mini prestige roulette which delivering more engaging and richer playing
    experience. The new experience contains a sum of seven tables including five blackjack
    tables, one roulette table and one baccarat table. Grand bring to life casino royale has been tall hand-engineered to fit the needs of our customer to using it, and
    contains unique elements that is specially meant to maximize
    the impact value we got from our customers and diversify it to the existing network.

    Soon, Depoxito will manufacture an improved certainty technology upon alive casino for our VIP
    member, these most broadminded technology ever seen in enliven casino including this bigger reality.

    Which permit players to experience products
    on an entire other level which is never seen back literally leaping out of the game and taking the blackjack, baccarat,
    roulette and supplementary game into the accumulate entire level.

    Depoxito VIP Baccarat, we manage to pay for you the certainly exclusive living VIP Baccarat that is
    played subsequently occurring to 7 players at the thesame table and our extremely trained lovely flesh
    and blood baccarat dealer. And of course our VIP supporter will setting as
    if they were in point of fact sitting at one of the top casino baccarat table.

    This immersive gaming experience creates a hugely thrill-seeking song that our VIP players will locate hard to surpass.

    Here is the list of sentient casino game that depoxito provide,
    we come up with the money for the widest range of breathing casino games upon the shout out including :
    blackjack unlimited, blackjack prestige, roulette, baccarat,
    poker, hi-lo, sic bo, and grand flesh and blood casino royale such
    as Grand Baccarat, Grand Blackjack and Grand Roulette
    for our VIP member. And of course as a supporter of Depoxito you can enjoy every the games that we manage to pay for to you,
    every you compulsion to realize is just visit our site depoxito and register it on your own takes happening
    to 3 minutes and next youre gratifying to feint any game that you want.

    Be our VIP, innate our VIP zealot of course arranged
    you the best facilitate you can get from us all
    you craving to be a VIP supporter is definitely easy. all you craving is just keep
    playing upon our site, enlargement and play past a VIP later than the amount that our company had written, save playing and our customer relieve will
    edit you that you are promoted to become a VIP member upon our site.

  3. Depoxito is the best online gambling site in Indonesia, like Depoxito you will mood the sensation of playing new and liberal online
    gambling. We always innovate hence that all our members can air a sensation gone playing at
    a genuine casino. Depoxito have enough money you the best stir casino feelings you can acquire subsequently all the
    pretty and sexy dealers, or grand vip saloon private room for our VIP advocate where you can achievement one on one considering our special Dealer all just
    for yourself.
    Luxurious site and VIP class advance for you, a campaigner and easy-to-use site, friendly and always kind Customer relief to put up to you.
    Depoxito is the right unusual for those of you who desire to act out online gambling without
    unbearable that your winnings will not be paid, Depoxito guarantees that all bet you place and win is authentic and will
    be paid without incurring any unwritten deductions.

    Depoxito as a site that is a partner of international big bookmakers certainly will
    not disappoint you as a loyal enthusiast of the Depoxito site and will continue
    to endeavor supplementary updates and upgrade our security system thus that it can prevent our faithful members from the threat of personal data leakage, scam or
    Depoxito is also a trusted online gambling dealer
    that provides the most utter gambling games in Indonesia, such
    as sportsbook, slot games, stir casino, lottery and online poker that you can measure later
    than just 1 Account.
    In accessory to the resolution VIP relieve game upon our site, we
    will pamper you our faithful members because you don’t habit a lot of IDs to bill rotate gambling games.
    As a gambling site accredited by PAGCOR (Philippines Amusement
    and Gaming Corporation) Depoxito is next one of the number one gambling sites
    in Indonesia and has a fine reputation from all online gambling players in Indonesia.

    As we have said, we have a customer utility that is always on standby to further all your needs even if
    playing on our site, including for withdrawals and deposits
    that single-handedly resign yourself to less
    than 3 minutes, hence we can be the best for zealot facilitate
    as well as our customer support will standby 24 hour a daylight and 7
    days a week to relief our enthusiast and VIPs.

    And the most special from our site compared to supplementary sites is
    the extra that we provide to our loyal members who continue to appear in on our
    site will acquire the best promos and bonuses that we will have
    the funds for you, we always follow the promote and trends that
    are viral now correspondingly the promos that we create are of course no less than any site.
    For VIP members we always give special promos that are not written as a result that our members
    continue to play-act on our site depoxito.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.