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Former quarter horse breeder Rita Crundwell made her first appearance in a Lee County court Monday. The fired Dixon comptroller was charged with 60 felony counts of theft by the state in September.
When asked by the judge if she needed a public defender, Crundwell said she did. Bob Thompson was assigned to the case.
Each of the counts accuses Crundwell of stealing more than $100,000, and transferring it to a secret bank account.
Crundwell’s lavish lifestyle ended in April when her farm and office were raided by the FBI – leading to her arrest, and the freezing of all of her assets. She was charged earlier this year with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. She pleaded not guilty to the federal charge.
The Feds sold Crundwell’s horses, tack, equipment, and luxury motor home for just over $6 million. She is accused of stealing $53 million from the City of Dixon according to court documents.
Crundwell’s arraignment is scheduled for October 31.