The chief financial officer of a small Illinois city — a woman who had a lavish lifestyle that included a $2.1 million motor home and a horse farm — is under arrest, accused of embezzling $30 million from the city.
Rita Crundwell, 58, was arrested Tuesday at City Hall in Dixon, Ill., the Chicago Tribune reported, and later charged with wire fraud.
Paid a salary of $80,000 a year, Crundwell spent large sums to operate her 150-horse Meri-J Ranch, as well as $340,000 on jewelry and $2.1 million on a luxury motor home, the FBI alleges in its criminal complaint. …
Purchases allegedly made by Crundwell with city funds include a $146,000 Kenworth truck, a $140,000 Freightliner truck, a $57,000 Chevy Silverado pickup and a $259,000 horse trailer.
The city’s budget, according to the article, is $9 million per year. While it happened over the course of many years, how does one extract $30 million from a budget that, relatively, small?
It just goes to show that even in the smallest of governments, stewardship of our tax dollars is a pretty nebulous thing.