Dixon residents ready to move on from Crundwell scandal

November 13, 2012 (DIXON, Ill.)

Dixon residents say they're anxious to move on from the notoriety and scandal brought by Rita Crundwell.

Crundwell will go down as the biggest embezzler of public funds in history. She skimmed $53 million from Dixon taxpayers over more than two decades, according to authorities.

"There were no red flags," Dixon Mayor Jim Burke said. "Incredible really."

Dixon mayor Jim Burke turned Crundwell in to the FBI in April. They arrested her in his office.

Her embezzling scheme continued through three mayors and numerous audits. It helped fund a lavish lifestyle with several luxury residences and her quarter horse breeding business, authorities said.

She was one of the leading breeders in the country.

"Nobody had any idea," Stan Wolzen said. "Didn't put two and two together."

The government auctioned off the horses and a luxury motorhome for $7 million.

They plan to sell off her homes and other properties. The guilty plea will end part of the ordeal for the city.

"It's kind of a sigh of relief," Dixon resident Coty Miller said. "Bad publicity with this."

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