Rita Crundell, Illinois Comptroller, Arrested For Allegedly Embezzling $30 Million To Fund Horse Breeding Business

Rita Crundell, the chief financial officer of Dixon, Illinois, was recently arrested for embezzling $30 million from the city.

MSNBC reports that Crundwell, 58, was arrested on Tuesday at City Hall in the small Illinois town and was charged with wire fraud.

Crundell, who was making $80,000 a year, was spending huge sums of money to operate her 150-horse Meri-J Ranch. Dixon Mayor James Burke brought his suspicions to the FBI after an employee discovered an unusual bank account with multiple six-figure transactions.

The account was in the city’s name but it also included “RSCDA” as a co-account holder. According to the FBI, the co-account holder turned out to be Crundell who was using money to fund her ranch.

The criminal report says that Crundell allegedly spent city funds on $339 worth of jewelry, a $259,000 horse trailer, a $146,000 Kenworth truck, a $140,000 Freightliner truck, and a $57,000 Chevy Silverado pickup. Crundell allegedly embezzled a total of $30 million from the town of Dixon.

Mayor Burke said that the town has been making cuts lately but no red flags were raised during the annual audit.

Burke said:

“It’s incredible really. In the last two years we’ve been really in a financial crunch with the whole thing… The annual audit didn’t show anything. Auditors even commented that we were doing fine with our cash controls.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that Crundell has been working for the city since her teen’s and has been Dixon’s comptroller for more than three decades.

The Huffington Post reports that if Crundell is convicted she will face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.