Crundwell Scheme: How The Money Added Up - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Crundwell Scheme: How The Money Added Up

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Crundwell thefts over the years. Crundwell thefts over the years.
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A week and a half before Rita Crundwell's sentence for a federal fraud charge and there are more details on how the $53 million she admits to stealing added up over 20 years, as well as the affects it had on the city.

Starting in 1991 documents show Crundwell transferred more than $181,000 into her secret account. As the scandal continued the yearly amounts she stole went up to a high of $5.6 million in 2008. The documents show Crundwell took over seven figures annually for more than a decade, and at one point was stealing an average $470,000 a month.

In the latest motion filed by the U.S. Government, prosecutors describe how, in the years Crundwell was taking large chunks of money from the city of Dixon, she was also pushing for officials to make spending cuts. Her fraud scheme did lead to various cuts from the budget significantly impacting the city's operations.

The police department could not upgrade radio equipment or make new hires. Dixon's street department was reduced by several positions. Over the decade before her arrest the city was only able to resurface 60 blocks of the more than 100 miles of streets. Maintenance projects were also postponed and ended up costing more because of delays. In 2011, the city was forced to issue $3 million in bonds in order to meet its financial obligations. Also, in the three years before Crundwell's arrest, no city employees received pay raises and no one was hired to replaced retirees.

Twenty years and more than $53 million later left a major loss of confidence in city government. All of this is used in the latest motion filed by the government for what's called an "upward variance." It's basically vying that the court decide on a range of possible sentencing time that could get Crundwell the maximum 20 years behind bars. Based on several criteria the sentencing range is anticipated to be 151 to 188 months. Prosecutors want that upped, but haven't said specifically what amount of time they're seeking. The range is only a guideline and a final decision is up to the judge at Crundwell's sentencing on February 14th.

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