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Illinois City Official Allegedly Misappropriated $30 Million

Posted on in Criminal Defense

According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, federal authorities have accused Rita Crundwell, the comptroller and treasurer of the small northwestern town of Dixon, Illinois, of bilking the town of more than $30 million over the last thirty years. According to documents filed by federal prosecutors in Rockford, Crundwell allegedly used the stolen money to fund her extravagant lifestyle, which included two champion horse breeding farms, $340,000 in jewelry, and a $2.1 million motor home. Local residents and city officials, shocked by the immensity of this theft, are questioning how these huge financial losses could have gone unnoticed for so long, particularly in light of the town’s struggling finances in recent years that left roads unimproved and the city pool closed.

Local authorities blame Crundwell’s ability to steal large amounts of money undetected in part on the town’s admittedly outdated controls over their finances, leaving Crundwell with an unusual amount of authority and control over the town’s funds. Nonetheless, an annual audit by two independent accounting firms and normal oversight by the town’s main bank, Fifth Third Bank, uncovered no suspicion of any wrongdoing in recent years.

As Crundwell is facing federal criminal charges, including one count of wire fraud, the penalties for a conviction can be quite severe. In addition to potential jail time, Crundwell is also likely to face the forfeiture of many of her assets, which will be liquidated and return to the town of Dixon.

If you or a loved one is accused of theft, forgery, or another type of white collar crime, you should retain a top Chicago criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. Taking immediate action to secure the services of an experienced Chicago defense lawyer will help you to prepare and present the best case possible with respect to your criminal charges.

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