Until now, we have not reported on the story of Rita Crundwell, the woman accused of embezzling in the neighborhood of $53 Million of public funds from the city of Dixon, Illinois.
Crundwell reportedly used the money to support a lavish lifestyle including the breeding and exhibiting of world class Quarter Horses.
What caught our attention now is the fact that the federal government has now “taken” or confiscated over 300 of the horses belonging to Crundwell.
Normally horses in criminal cases are abused and neglected and “taken into evidence”. In this case, it appears federal law enforcement want to recoup some of the losses suffered by the city of Dixon by selling the Crundwell horses.
The Associated Press reports:
Rita Crundwell lavished attention on her prize-winning animals, and their catchy names helped them stand out at show exhibitions. They might also reveal something about the woman prosecutors say was behind a staggering theft of $53 million from the city of Dixon in northern Illinois, or at least about the flashy breeding industry she loved.
More than 300 of her horses, among the most sought-after in the country, were handed over to U.S. marshals through a judge’s forfeiture order on Thursday.
The U.S. Marshalls Service plans to hire professionals to care for the horses with an eye toward selling them as part of any eventual restitution to the city of Dixon.
Horses are creatures of habit and do not typically respond well to a change in their routine. So how well thought out this plan to confiscate and hire someone to take care of Crundwell’s horses remains to be seen. It will be an expensive proposition whatever route they take.
We realize that these horses are considered assets. However, horse care is costly and require their own brand of expertise to maintain them. If the horses were fine where they were it appears it would have been much better to leave them at home and hire someone to guard them from possible sale or re-sale.