Horse breeder denies committing $US53m fraud

Crundwell's ranch in Dixon county.
Crundwell's ranch in Dixon county.

Quarter horse breeder Rita Crundwell, accused of defrauding a small Illinois city of $US53 million while working as its financial controller, has pleaded not guilty.

Crundwell is alleged to have taken the money over a 22-year period while she was comptroller of Dixon, a city of about 16,000 people.

Federal authorities allege she used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle and run her extensive quarter horse breeding operation.

US Marshals have taken possession of 310 of Crundwell’s quarter horses, which are expected to be sold should she be found guilty of the single count of wire fraud which she faces.

The 58-year-old pleaded not guilty on Monday when she appeared in a Rockford, Illinois, courtroom.

Crundwell was represented by Paul Gaziano.

She is on bail, but faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

Earlier articles:

» Feds seize 310 horses owned by alleged fraudster
» Feds lift horse owner’s alleged fraud to $US53m
» Finance boss used city’s cash to fund horse farm – feds

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