Feds take horses from suspected Illinois embezzler

Associated Press Published: May 4, 2012
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Crundwell is expected to enter a plea at her arraignment Monday. She is accused of siphoning public funds into a secret bank account opened in 1990 while she was Dixon comptroller. Prosecutors say she concealed the scheme by showing auditors phony invoices designed to look like they came from the state of Illinois and making it appear that the funds were going to legitimate purposes.

As an explanation for the shortfall, she told the mayor that the state was behind in disbursing funds to the city, according to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors contend she spent the funds on jewelry and cars, including a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, as well as horses. The breed, known as quarter horses, is prized for being able to run short straightaways faster than any other. The best sell for $200,000.

Their playful names — many with references to money — are common in the industry, Campbell said. Crundwell also tipped her hat to the rich and famous with names like Will N Kate, for Prince William and bride Kate Middleton, and Shda Puta Ring on It, after the Beyonce hit "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)." Others were saucy: Bathhouse Booty, Western Call Girl and She's Promiscuous.

"These are for the most part show animals, so they're trying to come up with names that do stand out in the show ring when they're announced," Campbell said.