DIXON - Folks from Ronald Reagan's hometown were hit with news of a shocking scandal Tuesday when Dixon IL's trusted comptroller/treasurer for three decades was handcuffed and taken away by FBI agents, accused of stealing $30 M from the city's coffers. The Chicago Tribune accounts:
According to prosecutors, [Rita] Crundwell tried to cover her tracks by shifting funds among multiple city bank accounts. From last September to February, she moved nearly $2.8 million in city funds into an account called the Capital Development Fund. By March, she had written 19 checks totaling more than $3.5 million from the account, payable to "Treasurer," and then deposited them into an another account she controlled - the one the mayor said he never knew existed.
From that account, she spent $3.3 million by check and withdrawals on personal and business expenses, about a third of the city's budget. Those expenditures included $600,000 in credit card payments, $450,000 for her horse farms and $67,000 for a Chevy Silverado pickup, according to the criminal complaint. Only about $74,000 went to pay city expenses, prosecutors said.
The FBI alleged that bank records dating back to 2006 showed a total of $30,236,503 in city funds went into the secret account and then was spent by Crundwell on her horse business and other luxury items such as the 2009 Liberty Coach Motor Home and a horse trailer for $258,000.
After he went to the FBI in October, the mayor said he told no one in the close-knit office about what had been discovered. As she had every weekday when she wasn't showing horses, Crundwell arrived at work Tuesday morning, only this time she arrived to find three FBI agents waiting for her.