Dixon comptroller indicted, accused of stealing over $53 million - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Dixon comptroller indicted, accused of stealing over $53 million

Rita Crundwell. Photo credit: aqha.com. Rita Crundwell. Photo credit: aqha.com.

Dixon's former comptroller was indicted on Tuesday on one count of wire fraud for defrauding the city of Dixon out of over $53 million.

Rita Crundwell was arrested on April 17 and initially accused of stealing $30 million from the city between 2006 and 2012 for her own personal use and expenses. Further investigation indicates that she allegedly stole over $53 million from the city since 1990. Crundwell allegedly opened a bank account in the name of the City of Dixon and RSCDA in December of 1990. She's accused of using her position to transfer funds from Dixon's Money Market account to its Capital Development Fund account, as well as various other accounts. She allegedly transferred city funds into the RSCDA account multiple times to pay for her own personal and private business expenses.

Crundwell is also accused of creating fictitious invoices purported to be from the State of Illinois to make city auditors believe the funds she deposited into the RSCDA account were being used legitimately. She also told the mayor and members of the City Council that the state was late in payments to the city to conceal her activities.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of $53 million and numerous assets that were seized upon Crundwell's arrest. It also seeks criminal forfeiture of two residences, a horse farm in Dixon, a home in Englewood, Florida, a $2.1 million luxury motor home, more than a dozen trucks, trailers, and other motorized farm vehicles, several cars, a boat, over $220,000 in cash, and other assets supposedly purchased with fraud proceeds.

The United States filed a civil lawsuit on Tuesday that alleges that 311 quarter horses owned by Crundwell are subject to civil forfeiture because she allegedly purchased them with fraud proceeds. The government will eventually sell the horses and apply the proceeds toward restitution for the City of Dixon. Crundwell owns RC Quarter Horses, LLC and keeps the horses at her ranch in Dixon, at the Meri-J Ranch in Beloit, and with various trainers across the country. The U.S. Marshal Service will hire a contractor to manage the horses.

Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or an alternate fine totaling twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever is greater.

Crundwell was released on her own recognizance on April 18 and is set to be arraigned on May 7.

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