Judge Allows Sale of Crundwell Horses
ROCKFORD – As lawyers convened behind closed doors Friday, Rita Crundwell stared straight ahead as she waited for a decision on whether her 401 prime quarter horses would be sold before her case is resolved. While the former Dixon comptroller and her attorneys already had agreed to the sale, there was a brief hold-up Friday as the federal prosecutors consulted with two attorneys representing some of the companies that have been taking care of the horses since Crundwell’s arrest.
The attorneys for the companies – Percott Company of Beloit, Wis., and a horse company and two veterinarians from Texas – want “assurances” that they would have chance to recoup some of their costs from sale proceeds. Crundwell purchased the horses, along with other properties and assets, with city funds, according to federal prosecutors. Crundwell, 59, is charged with one count of federal wire fraud as part of a scheme to misappropriate more than $53 million since 1990, according to prosecutors. Crundwell will be back in court July 23 in both her civil and criminal case. During a 30-minute hearing Friday, Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney gave the U.S. Marshals Service the go-ahead to sell the horses, as well as 21 embryos, 13 saddles, and frozen stallion semen from eight horses.