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(NBC News)   The town comptroller, who's had the job for decades, has a staggeringly wealthy horse farm while the town itself can't balance the budget. Gee, I wonder why   (rockcenter.nbcnews.com) divider line 128
    More: Obvious, First Street, Rock Center, city clerk, town, farms, Business Occupations Club, Ronald Reagan, Treins Jewelers  
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11037 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Sep 2012 at 10:41 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-21 11:43:49 PM  

jaytkay: Ahhhh, downstate Illinois, home of heartland "real American" voters of the GOP base.

Give us a lecture about "values", please. That never gets old.


Didja miss that Dixon's claim to fame is being the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan?
So much for "government is the problem."

I've visited the "Ronald Reagan boyhood home" a few times. It's been remodeled and the later additions were removed, and Reagan's family with his drunken father only rented the pace, but it occupies the same space.
 
2012-09-21 11:43:53 PM  

skinink: Got greedy and that did her in. She had to have guessed she would eventually be caught, even if it was $53 million dollars later. She should have followed Hans Gruber's advice for stealing large sums of valuables: "Well, when you steal $600, you can just disappear. When you steal 600 million, they will find you, unless they think you're already dead."


My guess is that she rolled all the dough into her personal money sponge. If she had stolen the loot and off-shored it, she might have had a chance at buying citizenship in S. America safe from the angry villagers and US Marshals.

How did the IRS miss this for 20 years? If I win $10K in Vegas, they are on me like white on rice!
 
2012-09-21 11:44:44 PM  
The accountant for the archdiocese of St. John's, Newfoundland stole half a million from them before they noticed. Best part was he poured it all into VLTs and had nothing to show for it.
 
2012-09-21 11:46:50 PM  

L.D. Ablo: There are a number of financial controls you're supposed to use to minimize this sort of thing. My guess is the town had zero controls.

One of the more common controls is how she got caught. You're supposed to send the people who handle the money on vacation now and then and have someone else do the work. If there's funny business - like the mystery bank account here - it often turns up.

/accountant


That is how she got caught. She was gone for a few days and the woman covering found the problems.

Then they had to keep quiet for 6 months while the FBI built a case. That was the hard part.
 
2012-09-21 11:47:50 PM  

Lsherm: Shostie: And she stole up to $53 million. No small feat.

That's the real story here. This town was so farking inept they managed to let her get away with this for decades.


Up to $53 million over 22 years, in a small town?

The town deserved it.
 
2012-09-21 11:48:10 PM  

Turbo Cojones: How did the IRS miss this for 20 years? If I win $10K in Vegas, they are on me like white on rice!


Accounting! How does it work?!

The article mentioned she had fake invoices and was sending money out that way. I'm sure she was smart enough to pad her invoices for her own business as well. It's easy to make it look right if you know what you're doing.

I don't get how in 20 years of going to horse shows no one ever opened one of these bank statements before. Did people just not do her job when she was out of town?
 
2012-09-21 11:48:59 PM  
Does that face come in menthol 100s?
 
2012-09-21 11:49:35 PM  

planes: [www.trbimg.com image 600x400]

The sale of a luxury motor home seized from former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell hit a speed bump Wednesday as the only bid came in under the $1 million requirement, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

More (new window)


Hm. biatch had a Prevost EL, huh? Not really my style. I like the simple interior lines of the older Marathons.

A typical EL interior:
www.luxuryassetnetwork.com
 
2012-09-21 11:51:59 PM  

sick_of_it: The best part of it all is that is ronnie raygun's town of birth, and they 'pride themselves' there as arbitrars of good govt. & clean ploitics in their republican method


Not quite. Reagan was born in Tampico, IL but he spent most of his young life growing up in Dixon, until he started working in radio and ended up in Hollywood. His 'neer-do-well dad moved the family around a lot.

When he was POTUS, Reagan visited Dixon and his old house.
 
2012-09-21 11:53:29 PM  
I'm just wondering why, in a town of 16,000 people, nobody thought it odd that one city employee was living such a high-rolling lifestyle while the rest of them were broke-ass broke.
 
2012-09-21 11:58:18 PM  

jaytkay: Ahhhh, downstate Illinois, home of heartland "real American" voters of the GOP base.

Give us a lecture about "values", please. That never gets old.


Dixon is downstate now? (Checks Profile) Ah yes, anything outside Cook County is "Downstate", even if it's due west.

/Cook County native.
 
2012-09-21 11:59:07 PM  

WordyGrrl: I'm just wondering why, in a town of 16,000 people, nobody thought it odd that one city employee was living such a high-rolling lifestyle while the rest of them were broke-ass broke.


Lot of lead pipes in that town, perhaps.
 
2012-09-22 12:00:19 AM  

BronyMedic: Come on people. Let's have some serious discourse here.

Is it REALLY news that a small town politician is a thief and a liar? I mean, really. It's be a newsflash-worthy event if one had NEVER been dishonest or stolen from the coffers of the people he swore to serve.

Why, to be quite frank, I'm sure you couldn't even call him a politician legally if that were true.


Small town? Try an entire state; California. Former Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned her job recently that amid, drastic budget cuts and possible permanent state park closures, the Sacramento Bee broke the story she'd been hiding more than $50 million over the years. Linky
 
2012-09-22 12:02:26 AM  

Gough: jaytkay: Ahhhh, downstate Illinois, home of heartland "real American" voters of the GOP base.

Give us a lecture about "values", please. That never gets old.

Dixon is downstate now? (Checks Profile) Ah yes, anything outside Cook County is "Downstate", even if it's due west.

/Cook County native.


If people from as far as away as Rockford want to claim they're from Chicago...
 
2012-09-22 12:07:04 AM  
Oh yes, of course this can only happen in a stupid little small town where people are oblivious.

She "Madoff" with all their money, 50+ million over YEARS, doesn't that just "Bernie" you??

Duh
I think big time city folk with tons of money and being monitored by the SEC can be duped too...

I seem to remember some "guy" on Wall Street...had a firm since 1960...until his arrest in 2008
Where the amount missing from client accounts, including fabricated gains, was almost $65 billion. The court-appointed trustee estimated actual losses to investors of $18 billion.

So who's the fool now???
The fool...or the fool that listens to them?
 
2012-09-22 12:07:10 AM  
Geez, this is pretty old. Have you caught up to the fact no one wants to buy her 2million dollar RV, or the fact that tax payers are keeping her horses alive and well?
 
2012-09-22 12:07:51 AM  

fanbladesaresharp: BronyMedic: Come on people. Let's have some serious discourse here.

Is it REALLY news that a small town politician is a thief and a liar? I mean, really. It's be a newsflash-worthy event if one had NEVER been dishonest or stolen from the coffers of the people he swore to serve.

Why, to be quite frank, I'm sure you couldn't even call him a politician legally if that were true.

Small town? Try an entire state; California. Former Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned her job recently that amid, drastic budget cuts and possible permanent state park closures, the Sacramento Bee broke the story she'd been hiding more than $50 million over the years. Linky


She didn't steal any of it. She just hid a large number of donations to the department so the Legislature couldn't take it. It was all still with the Parks department.
 
2012-09-22 12:10:39 AM  
Old news. Story broke in April 2012.
 
2012-09-22 12:11:09 AM  

WordyGrrl: I'm just wondering why, in a town of 16,000 people, nobody thought it odd that one city employee was living such a high-rolling lifestyle while the rest of them were broke-ass broke.


Because she was a job creator with an obviously successful farm she earned by the sweat of her brow. The rest of them weren't boot-strappy enough so they knew they deserved their sh*t-hole town and lives.
 
2012-09-22 12:18:32 AM  

jaytkay: Ahhhh, downstate Illinois, home of heartland "real American" voters of the GOP base.

Give us a lecture about "values", please. That never gets old.


Um, this is not "downstate" Illinois.

Thank you,

Peoria County
 
2012-09-22 12:22:03 AM  

mcwehrle: jaytkay: Ahhhh, downstate Illinois, home of heartland "real American" voters of the GOP base.

Give us a lecture about "values", please. That never gets old.

Um, this is not "downstate" Illinois.

Thank you,

Peoria County


Whatever.

I am glad I live in Chicago and not Illinois.
 
2012-09-22 12:24:07 AM  
53 million dollars and not a dime did she spend on having her face ironed.
 
2012-09-22 12:25:52 AM  

bdub77: Shostie: Her, actually.

But I don't understand, I thought women were bad at math.

Pretty messed up. This is why occasional external auditing is important in any organization. It's not just for corporations. And this isn't the first time it's happened nationwide. Interesting though that in bad economic conditions these people are found out.

At my HOA one guy and his wife took over the HOA for a short time (some weird drama was involved, I don't know everything) but before they could screw up the finances, the old HOA president found out they had previously been arrested for fraud.


There was an article on Fark 6 months agoish, on how the mob was moving in and taking over HOA's for the fraud possible.
 
2012-09-22 12:27:32 AM  

Threadslayer: Does that face come in menthol 100s?


ALL horse people look like this.

No idea why.

Rail skinny, and not in a good way, with too much sun?

They looked like over tanned leather by 50
 
2012-09-22 12:27:44 AM  

L.D. Ablo: lizaardvark: I_Am_Weasel: They tried to have her removed during council meetings, but the neighs vastly outvoted the yays.

We'll pardon the "neighs", seeing that horses are involved, but it's "yeas".

Seriously, no audits?

Audits don't always catch fraud and embezzlement.

There are a number of financial controls you're supposed to use to minimize this sort of thing. My guess is the town had zero controls.

One of the more common controls is how she got caught. You're supposed to send the people who handle the money on vacation now and then and have someone else do the work. If there's funny business - like the mystery bank account here - it often turns up.

/accountant


According to the story, she took 4 months off every year....I suspect the loans were the key, I bet everyone in the city government owed her money.
 
2012-09-22 12:35:22 AM  

jaytkay: mcwehrle: jaytkay: Ahhhh, downstate Illinois, home of heartland "real American" voters of the GOP base.

Give us a lecture about "values", please. That never gets old.

Um, this is not "downstate" Illinois.

Thank you,

Peoria County

Whatever.

I am glad I live in Chicago and not Illinois.


and I'm glad I live in Illinois and not Chicago.

tis all good.
 
2012-09-22 12:45:00 AM  

buzzcut73: The part I find most interesting is that the feds are auctioning off her stuff before the trial has even started.
There is no way in hell anybody should be OK with the assets being sold at that point.


This, exactly. What the fark is that about? Guilty until proven more guilty?
 
2012-09-22 12:45:59 AM  
milleralex.files.wordpress.comm.static.newsvine.com 

Son, your mother and I are disappoint.
 
2012-09-22 12:49:49 AM  

Turbo Cojones: skinink: Got greedy and that did her in. She had to have guessed she would eventually be caught, even if it was $53 million dollars later. She should have followed Hans Gruber's advice for stealing large sums of valuables: "Well, when you steal $600, you can just disappear. When you steal 600 million, they will find you, unless they think you're already dead."

My guess is that she rolled all the dough into her personal money sponge. If she had stolen the loot and off-shored it, she might have had a chance at buying citizenship in S. America safe from the angry villagers and US Marshals.

How did the IRS miss this for 20 years? If I win $10K in Vegas, they are on me like white on rice!


The IRS almost entirely works on matching up what's reported. Most anything that's income to person A is deductible or at least reportable to person B. If B fails to report the deduction they end up paying tax on the money.

She was stealing from the government so there's no issue of deductibility, the books will be unaffected by not reporting the outgoing money to the IRS.



Thus she got away with horsing around for decades.
 
2012-09-22 12:54:54 AM  

AmbassadorBooze: The townspeople really need to compleatly shun and ostracize anybody found to be corrupt. Don't even sell them food. And put signs up everywhere. Signs that have a person diembowling themselves and text that reads "Do the right thing". Shun their families also, don't sell them food, fire them if you employ them, don't buy from them, don't even talk to them, refuse to educate their children. Until the corrupt politition does the right thing.


refuse diembowling!!!!

whyayahnevah!!
 
2012-09-22 12:56:39 AM  
My 88 year old mom and I have been following this and discussing it for a while, as she was born and grew up in Dixon. After high school, she went to work during the war in the munitions plant there, as a secretary. After the war, she moved to Rockford and was a legal secretary for a prominent lawyer, where she met my dad, who had grown up in Rockford.

Thirty-five years ago, after my dad died, she moved back to Rockford and only last month moved to Florida, so she was following this all with interest. From what she knew of things in Dixon, she was not surprised. People there were just too trusting
 
2012-09-22 01:01:02 AM  

Your Average Witty Fark User: Lsherm: Shostie: And she stole up to $53 million. No small feat.

That's the real story here. This town was so farking inept they managed to let her get away with this for decades.

Up to $53 million over 22 years, in a small town?

The town deserved it.


Eh that's probably the amount that was spent on just upgrading roads over those 20 years. It's retarded how expensive capital projects are nowadays. Between the cities operating budget and capital improvements there was likely plenty of ways to steal money (especially from the capital improvements funds/loans).
 
2012-09-22 01:03:39 AM  
Considering I've seen at least five similar news stories out here in the boonies since I moved here in 2008, this doesn't surprise me at all. I am however impressed with the scope of her fraud.

Also makes me want to demand an audit of the lady who was treasurer here for the last 30+ years, since all water/garbage checks used to be payable to her directly. Pretty sure she's not living the high life like this other lady though, at least.
 
2012-09-22 01:04:37 AM  
Our county comptroller was caught stealling and she put a gun to her head and blew her brains out, after leaving a note that she was being framed. Yep, people who are being framed often committ suicide rather than fight for their day in court. She is part of a prominent family in this area. It was swept under the rug as quickly as possible.
 
2012-09-22 01:05:14 AM  
I used to wonder how this could happen.

Then I've spent the last six years as the treasurer for a small condo association. I could have easily embezzled thousands and no one would have had a clue. All of the checks and balances in place have all been a result of my efforts. No one cares about the effort I've put in to making it happen. They just assume it's all legit.

It frightens me to think about how much corrupt people can get away with.
 
2012-09-22 01:06:52 AM  

Ken VeryBigLiar: Gough: jaytkay: Ahhhh, downstate Illinois, home of heartland "real American" voters of the GOP base.

Give us a lecture about "values", please. That never gets old.

Dixon is downstate now? (Checks Profile) Ah yes, anything outside Cook County is "Downstate", even if it's due west.

/Cook County native.

If people from as far as away as Rockford want to claim they're from Chicago...



There's an old joke on this:

Two soldiers on base are talking and one asks the other where he is from

1st soldier: I'm from Chicago.

2nd soldier: Oh yeah? So am I. Where in Chicago?

1st soldier: Well, actually, I'm from Rockford. I just say Chicago as no one knows where Rockford is.

2nd soldier: I can dig it. I do the same, as I'm from Rockford, too. Where in Rockford?

1st soldier: Nuts. I just said Rockford as I'm really from Pecatonica and nobody knows where the fark that is!
 
2012-09-22 01:07:59 AM  
I'm in the wrong line of work. I bust my hump to get an internship as a graphic artist, and in the meantime count myself lucky to get a part-time job at a collection agency and this leathery hag salami-slices her way to $53 million. I'm from Saskatchewan, I could go back posing as a big time businessman, get a job comptrolling for some hick town and troll the hell out of it until I've got Mitt Romney type money. People in Saskatchewan are just like the poor dopes in Dixon, if they trust you you could rob them blind and it would never occur to them that such a thing was possible. The thought would never enter their skulls. The hell of it is that there are probably more than a few people who think this is alright, using the logic that anyone who is incapable of preventing a crime from being committed deserves to be a victim of that crime.
 
2012-09-22 01:16:49 AM  
This farking biatch. fark this farking biatch.
 
2012-09-22 01:27:44 AM  

The_Homeless_Guy: Your Average Witty Fark User: Lsherm: Shostie: And she stole up to $53 million. No small feat.

That's the real story here. This town was so farking inept they managed to let her get away with this for decades.

Up to $53 million over 22 years, in a small town?

The town deserved it.

Eh that's probably the amount that was spent on just upgrading roads over those 20 years. It's retarded how expensive capital projects are nowadays. Between the cities operating budget and capital improvements there was likely plenty of ways to steal money (especially from the capital improvements funds/loans).


Well, if any of that money had actually been going to upgrading the roads, your argument would hold weight. Instead, it seems all the money was going to her horse fund.
 
2012-09-22 01:33:37 AM  
Somebody forgot trust but verify.

The real question is if she was taking 3 months leaves of absence who is her accomplice. it was probably the person who found the suspicious bank reports and turned her in. They were probably smart enough to launder the money carefully and have it in an offshore account and are just waiting for the opportunity to the pick it up after she's convicted for the entire amount. If she tries to claim that they were in on it everyone will assume it's just revenge. They can go on disability or private sector and disappear with their 10 or 20 million to some extradition free country like Morocco.
 
2012-09-22 01:48:58 AM  
Bu bu bu but it's GOVERNMENT, and Fark has taught me that government can do no wrong!

I am sadly disillusioned.

I have a sad.

www.punjabigraphics.com
 
2012-09-22 01:49:12 AM  

mcwehrle: jaytkay: Ahhhh, downstate Illinois, home of heartland "real American" voters of the GOP base.

Give us a lecture about "values", please. That never gets old.

Um, this is not "downstate" Illinois.

Thank you,

Peoria County


Downstate, upstate, crosstate, whatever. Here you go, I salute you!

lh4.googleusercontent.com
 
2012-09-22 01:58:04 AM  

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Bu bu bu but it's GOVERNMENT, and Fark has taught me that government can do no wrong!

I am sadly disillusioned.

I have a sad.

[www.punjabigraphics.com image 300x400]


Isn't that one of those crippled cats (front legs are deformed/non-functional) that some sick people are breeding/selling? The buyers think it's "cute" that the poor cats have to hop on their hind legs and/or fall. Because, y'know, a crippled pet falling on its face all the time is just hilarious. If you're a sick fark.
 
2012-09-22 01:58:20 AM  
Old news...
 
2012-09-22 01:58:24 AM  
Alright, she stole something. But $53 million? Come on. Cop math. Impossible.
 
2012-09-22 02:02:19 AM  

Worldwalker: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Bu bu bu but it's GOVERNMENT, and Fark has taught me that government can do no wrong!

I am sadly disillusioned.

I have a sad.

[www.punjabigraphics.com image 300x400]

Isn't that one of those crippled cats (front legs are deformed/non-functional) that some sick people are breeding/selling? The buyers think it's "cute" that the poor cats have to hop on their hind legs and/or fall. Because, y'know, a crippled pet falling on its face all the time is just hilarious. If you're a sick fark.


Please tell me you're kidding >.
I'm going to have to watch my older boy next time I let him lick a spoon (he rears up like that), and see how far he tucks his front legs up, and then compare that to all internet cat pictures I see from now on.
 
2012-09-22 02:02:21 AM  

Aulus: Ken VeryBigLiar: Gough: jaytkay: Ahhhh, downstate Illinois, home of heartland "real American" voters of the GOP base.

Give us a lecture about "values", please. That never gets old.

Dixon is downstate now? (Checks Profile) Ah yes, anything outside Cook County is "Downstate", even if it's due west.

/Cook County native.

If people from as far as away as Rockford want to claim they're from Chicago...


There's an old joke on this:

Two soldiers on base are talking and one asks the other where he is from

1st soldier: I'm from Chicago.

2nd soldier: Oh yeah? So am I. Where in Chicago?

1st soldier: Well, actually, I'm from Rockford. I just say Chicago as no one knows where Rockford is.

2nd soldier: I can dig it. I do the same, as I'm from Rockford, too. Where in Rockford?

1st soldier: Nuts. I just said Rockford as I'm really from Pecatonica and nobody knows where the fark that is!


When people ask where I'm from (especially on the internet), I usually say "Portland, Oregon."

I don't actually live within the city limits of Portland. I currently live in Clackamas and grew up in Milwaukie.

Nobody outside of Oregon has ever heard of Clackamas, and everyone outside of Oregon tells me I've misspelled the name of my hometown. So I say Portland instead, and only occasionally do people assume I'm talking about the town in Maine.

/Portland's name was chosen by the flip of a coin
//the other option was Boston
 
2012-09-22 02:41:34 AM  
I

Loren: Turbo Cojones: skinink: Got greedy and that did her in. She had to have guessed she would eventually be caught, even if it was $53 million dollars later. She should have followed Hans Gruber's advice for stealing large sums of valuables: "Well, when you steal $600, you can just disappear. When you steal 600 million, they will find you, unless they think you're already dead."

My guess is that she rolled all the dough into her personal money sponge. If she had stolen the loot and off-shored it, she might have had a chance at buying citizenship in S. America safe from the angry villagers and US Marshals.

How did the IRS miss this for 20 years? If I win $10K in Vegas, they are on me like white on rice!

The IRS almost entirely works on matching up what's reported. Most anything that's income to person A is deductible or at least reportable to person B. If B fails to report the deduction they end up paying tax on the money.

She was stealing from the government so there's no issue of deductibility, the books will be unaffected by not reporting the outgoing money to the IRS.



Thus she got away with horsing around for decades.


I get that, kind of. IRS oversight is easy to get. But the rest of it... (sorry, slightly buzzed lame story bro ahead):

I work for a non-profit. We do work across state a few times a year, so this year I was in charge of all the cash spent. We decided to camp (saves money over a hotel, right) and got firewood. The only places open at the hour we realized we forgot it were households that had "on your honor" lockboxes and piles of wood.

So I took a photo of the lockbox we threw $10 in to get three bundles.

That wasn't good enough for a receipt for my bosses' boss. She took care of it, but we're audited by an independent company on a regular basis. Yeah, it's money we could be spending on our actual work... but when donors ask me for the financials, I can pull it up in a minute flat. Took the photo cause I had no other option and we needed to make fire to make dinner, but I could have taken that photo, grabbed the honor system wood, and pocketed the $10. I get it.

I guess what I"m saying is... I wouldn't be surprised if either threw kickback manipulation or just trying to save money (hey, an audit doesn't earn revenue, the citizens don't even "see" the benefit) financial safeguards like f--king independent audits were either cut, scaled back, or given to the lowest bidder who didn't give a damn.

That or she was just that great at faking transactions, which I doubt since a temporary replacement caught it.

If it was a "cost saving measure", f--k, I'm so goddamn f--king tired of people who can't see past the nose on their face.

RTFA, okay, they've had 21 audits. Well, if the f--king city clerk figured it out while filling in, then they were pretty haphazard audits.

I could have done things like grabbed gas receipts left at other pumps, changed that "$10" on the camp site fee handwritten receipt to "$40", etc, and pocketed the difference. But my boss, and hers, know what the historical documented costs have been for that trip. Receipts logged by date, so a $100 and $50 receipt for gas in a car that can hold $125 at 4/gallon, on the same day? Effing flag.

Small stuff, but if I can't be trusted to fully account for a few hundred in petty cash - and to have my accounts check out in random spot-checks - then why the f--k would my employer trust me with anything more important? Yeah, it's money and time spent by me, my boss, and her boss to check everything independently. But now I've got trust earned, and that independent verification will be noted in the audit our financial donors (and Charity Navigator) can access whenever.

And shiat like this, for a relatively small amount of extra time and money to budget, would have never gotten the chance to probably occur.
 
2012-09-22 04:00:18 AM  
Corruption is rife in this country at all levels of GOVERNMENT.

Maxine Waters, Democrat, who funneled millions of dollars of bail out money to her husband, isn't even being charged. Too many friends in high places.
 
2012-09-22 04:44:48 AM  
This sounds just like the US since a certain party took control of the nation's purse strings in 2006.
 
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