By: Katie Jones
It's the single largest municipal fraud in United States history and now U.S. Marshals are trying to get back the 53 million dollars Rita Crundwell stole from the city of Dixon. Earlier this month the former Dixon comptroller pleaded guilty to her wire fraud charge and now the government is liquidating all of her assets but some of the money is just gone.
"All along it has been the Marshal's Role in this case to manage and sell all of the assets of Ms. Rita Crundwell" U.S. Marshal Darryl McPherson said.
But the U.S. Marshals said selling all of the assets for what they're worth isn't going to happen. Chief Inspector Jason Wojdylo said they've already auctioned off hundreds of horses and several vehicles but have only recovered 7.4 million. That's because it's hard to sell the used property for retail value and inspector Wojdylo said a lot of the money was spent on horse care, traveling costs, expensive meals and vacations ... so that stolen cash is down the drain. But the Marshals aren't giving up. They've still got several big ticket items up for sale including estates in Dixon and Florida. Then they'll start selling off the smaller stuff. The U.S. Marshals said after all is said and done they'll probably only get back about 1/5 of what Rita stole so they said every little bit counts.
"It's our job and what we want to do is keep costs as low as we possibly can that way we can return the money to award those who have been affected by this crime," McPherson said.
After Crundwell is sentenced, the Marshals will ask the court for a forfeiture of money judgment which means Crundwell would have to turn over anything she inherits to the government until the 53 million is paid off.