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More than 300 horses seized by federal law enforcement authorities in connection with the embezzlement case against Quarter Horse breeder Rita Crundwell will be sold at auction in Dixon, Ill., on Sept. 23 and 24.
Earlier this year, a federal grand jury in Illinois indicted Crundwell for allegedly misappropriating $53 million in funds from the town of Dixon, Ill., where she had served as comptroller since the 1980s. Federal law enforcement agents later arrested Crundwell and charged her with one count of wire fraud. Crudnwell later pleaded not guilty to the wire fraud charge. If convicted, Crundwell could face maximum penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or an alternate fine totaling twice the cost of the loss or twice the gain whichever is greater.
Following the arrest, a federal court judge placed more than 400 horses connected to the case in the custody of the U. S. Marshals Service. Professional Auction Services, Inc., was later hired to carry out the sale of the horses and related equipment at auction. U.S. Marshal’s Service Spokesperson Lynzey Donahue said that 80 horses were sold for a total of $1.6 million during an online auction Sept. 7-12.
On Sept. 23 and 24, more than other 300 horses, will be sold during a live auction in Dixon, Ill., Donahue said. The Sept. 23 auction will include performance horses, saddles, and frozen semen. Performance horses, halter horses, and frozen semen will be auctioned on Sept. 24. If Crundwell is convicted, net proceeds from the sale of the horses and equipment will be given to the City of Dixon, Ill., as restitution, Donahue said.
Prospective bidders can preview the horses slated for live auction Sept. 20-22 by appointment through Professional Auction Services, Inc. Complete details about the sale are available at the Professional Auction Services, Inc., website, www.professionalauction.com. The site also contains U. S. Marshals Service sales terms and conditions, as well as inventories of halter horses, performance horses, and tack offered for sale. Prospective bidders can also register for the live auction at the website.