High Rolling AQHA Breeder Pleads Not Guilty to $53M Theft

High Rolling AQHA Breeder Pleads Not Guilty to $53M Theft

Accused of stealing $53 million to fund her horse breeding operation, former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell was back in court today.

She pleaded not guilty to one count of wire fraud days after her horses were seized from her control. A civil suit

Rita Crundwell and Jim McKillips

also filed at the beginning of the month alleged that more than 300 registered quarter horses owned by Crundwell were subject to forfeiture since she purchased and maintained them with criminal fraud proceeds.

Her horses were handed over to US Marshals after a judge’s forfeiture order was received late last week. The horses will be cared for with the goal that they will eventually be sold with other assets seized including horse trailers, trucks, and RVs.

Prosecutors allege Crundwell stole the millions to support her horse business and lavish lifestyle by transferring city funds to a secret account. It is unknown if Crundwell’s farm manager and boyfriend, Jim McKillips, knew about the alleged theft.

Crundwell is represented by lawyers from the federal defender program. Wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Prosecutors say the investigation continues.