Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Woman Charged With $30 Million Embezzlement of Small Town

The more I read about the greed of women on the Fraud Talk Blog the more I understand my apparent sociopath landlady who trespassed to rob me of $6,000 a few weeks ago.  According to the blog, this case will "surely go down as one of the largest embezzlement case in U.S. history".

The City of Dixon Illinois' longtime comptroller's been  charged with embezzling city funds to pay for champion horse farms and a lavish lifestyle.  My question is, how can someone get away since the 1980's with stealing that kind of money?  How is that possible?  How can people be so dumb to allow this city employee to rob them blind?

Rita A. Crundwell, 59, of Dixon, Illinois, has been arrested and charged with embezzling more than $30 million from the small town of Dixon, where she had served as both municipal controller and treasurer for many years.  In what will surely be one of the largest embezzlement cases in modern US history, Crundwell is alleged to have siphoned funds from town coffers into a secret account she controlled for at least six years, totalling $30,236,503.51.

Crundwell reportedly began working for the town in the early 1980s when she was appointed controller and ultimately became one of the few full-time and highly trusted municipal employees, making just $80,000 per year.  She is the owner of Meri-J Ranch, a champion horse breeding farm in Dixon and another in Beloit, Wisconsin.  Federal authorities have charged Crundwell with a single count of wire fraud at this time.

Citizens believed she was simply a very wealthy woman because of her horse farms when in reality, it is believed that Crundwell spent town funds to support a lavish lifestyle, including the horse farms and a $2.1 million custom outfitted motor coach.  The misappropriation was apparently discovered last October while Crundwell was taking her annual four month vacation attending horse shows and running her ranch.  During that time, a fill-in employee came across a suspicious account showing multiple six-figure transactions which led to an FBI investigation.

The FBI has seized the contents of two bank accounts she controlled as well as seven trucks and trailers, three pickup trucks, the motor home and a Ford Thunderbird convertible.  Meanwhile, the financially strapped City of Dixon, with an annual budget of just $8-9 million, has had to close its pool and make other cutbacks in services.  Crundwell faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the single wire fraud charge.

The only words that come to mind to understand the magnitude of this is, "Jesus Christ!"

Link to Criminal Complaint (PDF)

Small Town Rocked By $30 Million Theft Case - Chicago Tribune