According to a criminal complaint, the siphoning of city funds went undetected for years until another staffer filling in as vacation relief became suspicious and discovered a secret bank account. How an enormous sum — it dwarfed the city’s current annual budget of roughly $8-9 million — could be stolen and escape the notice of a yearly audit left many puzzled.
The finance chief for a small city in northern Illinois has been arrested and charged with stealing more than $30 million from the city coffers and using the money to sustain a luxurious lifestyle.
MyFoxChicago reports that Rita Crundwell, 58, the comptroller of Dixon, is accused of using city funds to finance her horse farm and buy expensive items ranging from tractor-trailer trucks to a motor home to jewelry.
She held the position as comptroller since the early 1980s, in the boyhood home of former President Ronald Reagan. The federal complaint against her alleges that she embezzled more than $3.2 million just since last fall. That’s on top of a salary of $80,000.
She allegedly bought a $2.1 million motor home, in addition to several trucks that cost as much as $147,000, according to the report.
Dixon Mayor James Burke called the allegations a “traumatic event” for the city.