Dixon mayor to speak at Rita Crundwell sentencing

February 12, 2013 ( ROCKFORD, Ill.) — At least half a dozen public officials are expected to make victim statements at this week’s sentencing of a small-town Illinois bookkeeper who stole $53 million in public funds.

A government filing Tuesday says Dixon Mayor James Burke is among those who will describe how Rita Crundwell’s crimes devastated his northern Illinois community.
As the city’s longtime comptroller, Crundwell used the stolen money to fund her nationally renowned horse-breeding operation and luxurious tastes.

She’s scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Rockford. The most the 60-year-old could face is 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in November to a felony count of wire fraud. A state case against her is still pending.

Prosecutors contend her case is one of the most egregious abuses of public trust ever in Illinois.

February 12, 2013 ( ROCKFORD, Ill.) — At least half a dozen public officials are expected to make victim statements at this week’s sentencing of a small-town Illinois bookkeeper who stole $53 million in public funds.

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A government filing Tuesday says Dixon Mayor James Burke is among those who will describe how Rita Crundwell’s crimes devastated his northern Illinois community.
As the city’s longtime comptroller, Crundwell used the stolen money to fund her nationally renowned horse-breeding operation and luxurious tastes.

She’s scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Rockford. The most the 60-year-old could face is 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in November to a felony count of wire fraud. A state case against her is still pending.

Prosecutors contend her case is one of the most egregious abuses of public trust ever in Illinois.

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/

Rita Crundwell faces 60 new state charges

A great article from
http://wqad.com/2012/09/20/crundwell-faces-60-additional-counts/
Prosecutors in Illinois hand down dozens of new theft charges for former Dixon Illinois comptroller Rita Crundwell. Today the state indicted Crundwell on 60 theft charges that allegedly took place from January 1st, 2010 through her arrest on April 17th, 2012. These charges are separate from the federal charges that allege Crundwell stole $53 million dollars from the City of Dixon from 1990 through 2010.
The numbers are staggering.
This indictment alleges Rita Crundwell stole more than $11.2 million dollars in less than 2 and half years.
60 charges in all, they read almost like an accountant’s ledger.
$255,000 on January 19th.
$198,000 on January 25th.
$178,000 on January 29th.
On and on the list goes, the last charge filed the day before she was arrested on April 17th of this year. The indictment is separate from federal charges, and the case will be tried completely separately as well.
Dixon Mayor Jim Burke says he looks at this as a backup plan, just in case the federal trial falls flat.
“The way we were pushing this was to get some insurance that if it was a slap on the wrist that there would be more from the state,” says Burke.
The investigators have been working since early July to reach this point, sifting through more than 2,000 pieces of evidence. Between the federal investigation, and the state’s investigation, Lee County State’s Attorney Henry Dixon is confident Rita Crundwell acted alone.
“If you have more than one person involved you’re in deep trouble. And in my view if there had been even one other person involved with Ms. Crundwell in this enterprise, it would have been exposed sometime ago,” says Dixon.
Each of the 60 theft charges facing Crundwell carries a 6 year minimum sentence. If she’s found guilty on every charge she’d face at least 360 years behind bars, plus any punishment she may receive in her federal case.
“You can all multiply 6 times 60 pretty easily. There’s such a thing as a pound of flesh and a pound of flesh,” says Dixon.
Dixon adds they’re not seeking any restitution from Crundwell or her estate because as he put it, ‘The feds took everything. All she has left is her clothes and a few trophies.’
EARLIER STORY:
Former Dixon, Illinois comptroller Rita Crundwell faces 60 counts of felony theft after a grand jury indictment was delivered Thursday, September 20, 2012.
A Lee County grand jury handed down the indictment announced by police and prosecutors that same day at a news conference at Dixon City Hall.
The new indictment concerns alleged thefts by Crundwell from January 1, 2010 to April 17, 2012. In each count, Crundwell is accused of taking more than $100,000 worth of government property.
Crundwell previously pleaded not guilty in federal court to a single count of wire fraud. Prosecutors said Crundwell stole $53 million over more than 20 years to fund a lavish lifestyle centered around breeding championship horses.
More about the federal indictment – click here.
Crundwell is not in custody for the new indictment and charges. She was previously released on bond after being taken into federal custody.
If convicted, Crundwell faces a minimum of six years in prison for each charge in the September 20 indictment.

Six Crundwell horses dead

Some of the more than 400 horses that were seized from former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell,have died.

Since the U.S. Marshals Service started caring for the horses on May first,sixof them have died. Several at the Dixon ranch,one in Wisconsin and one in Texas.

Most of them were under veterinary care before they died. The first passed away on May 3rd from bacteria in the blood. The second died on June 4th from pneumonia,a third died on June 20th. The foal was found in a field at the Dixon ranch. Authorities say it also had a heart murmur. On June 21st a horse in Texas died from colic. On July 5th an older horse died from kidney failure. And on July 11th another horse died from kidney failure.

The U.S. Marshals Service says they could award a horse auction contract next week. The contractor then has 45 days to put on the auction. It will take place at the Dixon ranch, likely in late August or early September. People will also be able to bid online.