The U.S. Marshals are selling the trophy and award collection that belonged to Rita Crundwell, the former comptroller of Dixon, Illinois, who was convicted of fraud in 2012 for stealing $53.7 million from the city over two decades.
The collection includes approximately 767 trophies and 122 plaques that Crundwell won at countless horse shows spanning a 22-year period. Prior to her conviction, Crundwell was a leading breeder and owner, as well as a successful Western pleasure and halter exhibitor, in the American Quarter Horse Association. Not included are 152 belt buckles, which will be sold in smaller lots in a separate online auction of other Crundwell assets in November.
This sale is being conducted by sealed bid, with a submission deadline of Nov. 30. Prospective bidders can make an appointment to see the trophies. More information is available at www.usmarshals.gov/assets/sales.htm.
“These trophies and awards symbolize the motivation of Rita Crundwell to boldly steal money from Dixon taxpayers. They were her prized possessions, second only to the horses themselves,” said Chief Inspector Jason Wojdylo with the U.S. Marshals Asset Forfeiture Division.
“We have been asked if an opportunity exists to donate the trophy and awards collection to a non-profit organization,” Wojdylo said. “Unfortunately, federal regulations don’t provide us with that option in this instance; however, there is nothing to prevent someone desiring to be a benefactor, for example, from bidding on the collection. Should that person place the winning bid, he or she could then make a charitable donation of the trophy and awards collection to an eligible non-profit of their choosing.”
Crundwell, 62, was one of the leading breeders of quarter horses in the U.S. She was sentenced to more than 19 years in federal prison in 2013 and is serving her sentence at Waseca Federal Correctional Institute in Minnesota. To date, the U.S. Marshals have returned more than $9.5 million to the city of Dixon.