Crazy Money! $53 Million Fraud
It’s Crazy Money Day!
For 20 years, the city of Dixon, Illinois passed independent audits, and state audit reviews. The bank never flagged anything unusual in their accounts. Yet, Dixon struggled financially. Meanwhile, city controller, Rita Crundwell, regularly transferred funds from the city’s money market account to other city accounts and eventually to her own. She created fake invoices and billed the city for work that was never done. Crundwell created a horse breeding empire and lived in luxury while earning $80,000 a year as controller. It’s crazy!
The documentary, All the Queen’s Horses, reveals how a municipal clerk discovered the crime. Reviewing bank statements while Crundwell was away, she found a suspicious account. She took it to the mayor who called the FBI. Without typical checks and balances in place, the city fell victim to the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history. Over 20 years, Crundwell stole $53 million buying horses, real estate, a multi-million dollar motorhome, and more. Sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison, she served 8. U.S. Marshals auctioned off her assets for roughly $10 million. Lawsuit settlements with the auditors and bank brought in another $30 million.
The case proves 1 Timothy 6: “…those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It’s through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
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