Story Of Dixon Embezzlement Featured On CNBC - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Story Of Dixon Embezzlement Featured On CNBC

Posted: Updated: April 2, 2014 04:40 PM

Dixon, Illinois was the home to a world famous horse breeding business. But citizens were unaware that the business was funded by their tax dollars. For over two decades, trusted city comptroller, Rita Crundwell wrangled $53 million dollars into a secret account to build her horse empire. Now her story is getting national attention on the CNBC show, American Greed. Here is an excerpt from the program:

"Showing horses is an expensive hobby so you're, you're, you're going to need to have some startup cash to do it correctly, said horse trainer Marcia Freeman.

With her humble background, Crundwell doesn't have enough money to support the boarding, medical care, transportation and trainers necessary for a world' class breeding program. but, as Dixon's comptroller, large amounts of cash pass through her hands every day.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Pedersen, on December 18, 1990, Crundwell crosses a line that will change her life and the City of Dixon forever. She opens a secret bank account in the city's name.  And only she has control of it.

"She named it the RSCDA account which, uh, stood for some acronym involving a sewer, uh, reserve sewer account. But it really was not a legitimate city account at all," said Pedersen. 

Because Crundwell has full authority to write checks on the city's behalf, it's easy for her to filter government money into the new account.

"She was creating fictitious invoices uh, purportedly representing uh, different projects that were going on in the city, that in fact, never were going on. And then she would pay the bills, she would pay the invoices, and then deposit those checks into the secret bank account," Said Jason Wojdylo with the U.S. Marshals Service. 

The cunning cowgirl leaves a city on the verge of collapse.

You can watch more of the story on American Greed, Wed. April 2 at 8 p.m. central time on CNBC.

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