|Published:||Mar 27, 2013 12:13 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Mar 27, 2013 12:15 AM EDT|
ENGLEWOOD, Fl. - Brand new appliances, massive closets are among the many expensive items inside this waterfront property on Fifth Street, all unknowingly paid for by the people of Dixon, Illinois.
Illinois native Larry Williams is one of many curious folks who came by to check out this Englewood home, not just for its amenities but for its story.
"They've got her but its just unbelievable the money she was able to get away with," says Larry Williams.
The former homeowner, Rita Crundwell, is now in federal prison. She was convicted of embezzling more than 53 million dollars over the course of 20 years from her long time employer, the City of Dixon. Crundwell was trusted to handle the City's finances.
"She essentially was making fictitious invoices," says Jason Wojdylo with the Us Marshals.
Cashing them in for herself and using the money to run her quarter horse breeding business and build lavish homes like this one. Since her arrest, US Marshals seized this house, 53 vehicles, a two million dollar motor coach and 400 quarter horses from more than a dozen states.
"Anything that she had that was a viable asset, we have seized and have liquidated," Wojdylo adds.
That money and what's ade from this home sale will go back to the City of Dixon taxpayers. In the end about 10 million dollars. US Marshals say, they use the power of forfeiture to send an even stronger message than jail time.
"We put people in jail all day every day... However putting people in jail is not enough, we must address the assets that are the proceeds of their crime or that are used to facilitate their crime and when we seize those and we forfeit those... it strips them of their ill gotten gain."
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