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Government Sells Ex-Dixon Comptroller's Properties For $3M

DIXON (STMW) -- The U.S. Marshals Service sold three of convicted Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell's five properties for more than $3 million on Monday.

Three separate people purchased land once belonging to Crundwell, parcels at 1403 Dutch Rd. and 1556 Red Brick Rd., and 81 acres of farmland, all in Lee County, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service. A $350,000 offer was also submitted on a fourth property in Lee County.

The U.S. Marshals put the properties up for sale in October and after receiving unsolicited offers of $1.69 million for the three, the statement said. Thirteen counter-offers were received and the properties eventually sold for more than $3 million.

The U.S. Marshals are also looking to sell a fifth property at 1679 U.S. 52 in Dixon, the statement said. Open houses will be held Jan. 11, 12 and 18 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and offers will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Jan. 25.

Crundwell pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and admitted to money laundering as part of a plea agreement, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

The 59-year-old faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 when she is sentenced Feb. 14 by Senior U.S. District Judge Philip Reinhard in Rockford.

Following her arrest on April 17, Crundwell agreed to a liquidation of assets acquired with proceeds from the decades-long fraud scheme. She agreed to restitution to the city of Dixon totaling more than $53.7 million, minus credit for funds repaid; and agreed to a forfeiture judgment in that amount.

Dixon, with a population of about 15,733, is about 100 miles southwest of Chicago. Crundwell served as comptroller and handled all of the city's finances from 1983 until she was arrested.

According to the plea agreement, she opened a bank account in 1990, which she alone controlled, in the name of the city of Dixon. Between December 1990 and April 2012, she transferred funds from other city accounts and used them to pay personal and private business expenses.

The U.S. Marshals have already sold some of her personal property, including vehicles and more than 400 horses, for more than $8 million.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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