$53 Million Scam: Rita Crundwell To Plead Guilty

The $53 million scam perpetrated by Rita Crundwell will likely end with a guilty plea, according to Fox News.

The former chief financial officer for a small Illinois city is expected to plead guilty to stealing millions of dollars during her employment. Crundwell was arrested for wire fraud earlier this year.

Officials believe that the comptroller used the money she stole from the town of Dixon, Illinois to fund a lifestyle that many felt was extravagant. It’s also being reported that Crundwell may have used the cash to fuel her successful horse-breeding business.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Crundwell previously pleaded not guilty to one count of wire fraud and over 60 counts of felony theft. However, it would seem she’s had a sudden change of heart.

The former chief financial officer allegedly stole the money over a period of 20 years. If she’s found guilty of the crime, then Dixon will received most of its money back.

Dixon Mayor James Burke spoke with the FBI after some large sums of money were withdrawn from the town’s bank account. None of these transactions were noticed until a recent audit.

“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,” Mayor Burke explained.

Over 400 horses were rounded up from Crundwell’s horse-breeding operation. Authorities have auctioned off most of the animals in order to recoup the money she reportedly stole while employed by the small Illinois town.

According to The Huffington Post, the comptroller could spend the next 20 years of her life behind bars if she’s found guilty of the $53 million scam she pulled on the town of Dixon, Illinois. She could also face fines of up to $250,000.