Dixon stuck with Crundwell legacy for now

I would like to nominate Rita Crundwell as Dixon’s person of the year. Who else did more to put our town on the map in 2012? Unfortunately, no one. I wish it weren’t true, but we must face the truth. She has made Dixon famous.

Of course, this nomination is not for her good works. We all know the story by now. As city comptroller, she ripped off the city of Dixon to a tune of $53 million. We’ll see very little, if any, of that money….

from http://www.saukvalley.com/2013/01/02/dixon-stuck-with-crundwell-legacy-for-now/akhy55r/

Rita Crundwell May Ask To Have State Charges Dropped

Dixon – The lawyer for former Comptroller Rita Crundwell may ask the state to drop its case against her even though she admitted to stealing $53 million from the city.

Crundwell faces 60 counts of theft in Lee County. She’s supposed to appear in court for those charges tomorrow. But, her lawyer asked for more time so the judge could consider dropping them.

He didn’t elaborate as to why.

Crundwell did plead guilty though to a federal charge against her. She’ll be sentenced for that in February.

http://mystateline.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=371432

Rita Crundwell Items to Be Sold in Online Auction

DIXON (WIFR) — Know someone with the initials R.C.? Then there may be a few items worth checking out. The U.S. Marshals service is hosting another online auction this weekend of Rita Crundwell’s stuff.

Things like a monogrammed boulder and similar-looking sign. A leather saddle will also be auctioned off. The online auction begins Sunday and runs through Wednesday. So far, the U.S. Marshals service has recovered nearly $8 million from selling Crundwell’s property, but that is nowhere close to the $53 million stolen by the former Dixon comptroller.

Once the rest of Crundwell’s personal items are sold, U.S. Marshals will sell her homes and farmland. They’re currently accepting counter-offers on three pieces of property, through December 21st.

Another online auction kicks off this weekend to sell more of Rita Crundwell’s personal items. This monogramed boulder and sign are included.. As well as this rare leather saddle. The auction will run Sunday through Wednesday. To check out the auction, visit www.professionalauction.com/12RC_Assets.htm.

Rita Crundwell auction ends

CHICAGO (CBS) — The online auction of items from homes that once belonged to former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell has ended.

The auction of furnishings in the Englewood, Florida home that belonged to Crundwell, generated nearly $100,000.

A table and 8 chairs brought in the largest amount, $11,000.

Furnishings at the home where Crundwell spent most of her time, in Dixon, sold for 181 thousand dollars.

A grand piano brought in the largest single amount, $4,500.

The sale of the furnishings and possessions sold earlier, including more than 400 horses and horse semen for a breeding program, brought in a total $7.4 million.

From cbsnews

A long way from the $53 million that Crundwell admits she stole, while serving as Dixon’s Comptroller.

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

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