A city treasurer in Illinois had two jobs: one at the city and the other was running a horse breeding ranch. The two roles allegedly comingled over the years as she allegedly “re-appropriated” more than $30 million of the city’s money to subsidize ranch operations.
That Rita Crundwell was apparently able to take so much from the city of Dixon is impressive. The small town has an annual budget of $8 or $9 million per year. The $30 million in question was taken over six years. The question is now why no one caught onto the scheme.
Crundwell earned just $80,000 per year at the city, but owned a $2.1 million motor home and purchased $340,000 in jewelry.
Crundwell’s scheme was discovered when she took four months off to tend to the horse farms. During that time, a temporary worker asked for the city’s bank statements and discovered multiple, six-figure transactions to a bank account that allegedly funneled the money to Crundwel.
From the Chicago Tribune:
For years Rita Crundwell has kept an eye over virtually every dollar that passed through the small town of Dixon’s coffers as city comptroller, while also running one of the most successful horse farms in America.
On Tuesday, FBI agents led Crundwell from City Hall in handcuffs on charges she misappropriated more than $30 million in city funds in just the last six years. Much of the money went to pay to operate the champion horse breeder’s Meri-J Ranch, authorities alleged.
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