News Banner

For Immediate Release

September 19, 2012

Lynzey Donahue (202) 307-9075

Deputy U.S. Marshal Belkis Sandoval

US Marshals to Auction More Than 300 of Rita Crundwell’s Horses

WASHINGTON The U.S. Marshals Service will sell the remainder of the Rita Crundwell herd of quarter horses –more than 300 – via a live and Web simulcast auction in Dixon, Ill., Sunday and Monday, starting at 11 a.m. CDT each day.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for horse lovers at every level to buy from a top breeding program. We expect to sell horses from $400 youngsters up to six-figure show and breeding horses,” said Mike Jennings of Professional Auction Services, Inc., the company hired by the U.S. Marshals to conduct the auction.

The auction will be held at the RC Ranch in Dixon. No parking will be available at the ranch. Shuttle bus service will be provided beginning at 7 a.m. from five parking sites in Dixon. Red Brick Road will be closed, and no parking will be permitted on the shoulder of the main roads leading to the ranch. Weapons, large coolers, backpacks, alcohol and golf carts are prohibited. Concessions will be available for purchase. Extensive information is available at

A 97-page catalog of all the horses, photos and information is also available at Bidders must pay a fully refundable $250 deposit to register for the auction.

Other items to be sold include tack and equipment, such as saddles, bridles, blankets, cylinder fans, 37 canvas-sided stalls, two bobcats, an industrial washer and dryer, hay feeders and more. Those items will be auctioned from 10-11 a.m. Sunday and 9-11 a.m. Monday. They will not be offered for online bidding.

The U.S. Marshals sold the first 80 of Crundwell’s horses for $1.64 million via an online auction that closed on Sept. 12. The proceeds from the sale of those horses are anticipated to cover the Marshals’ outlay for expenses to care for the horses since May. That paves the way for the proceeds from the upcoming sale to be made available for restitution to the city of Dixon if the government prevails in its criminal and civil actions against Crundwell. The proceeds from the upcoming auction will be held in an escrow account until the conclusion of the case.

“Managing a herd this size since May has been challenging, but mostly the same caretakers and veterinarians that were managing the horses for the defendant have been managing the horses while they’ve been in Marshals custody. We are confident that we have maintained the value and quality of the herd for the thousands of people in the quarter horse industry who have been waiting for this opportunity,” said U.S. Marshal Darryl McPherson of the Northern District of Illinois.

US Marshals to Auction More Than 300 of Rita Crundwell’s HorsesUS Marshals to Auction More Than 300 of Rita Crundwell’s HorsesUS Marshals to Auction More Than 300 of Rita Crundwell’s Horses


Three of the horses up for auction, from l to r: (1) Good I Will Be (lot 104), photo by Crystal Holman; (2) Moneys Moxie (lot 209), photo by Jeff Kirkbride; and (3) Acoolest (lot 299), photo by Crystal Holman.

Crundwell, 59, was one of the leading breeders of quarter horses in the U.S. Formerly the comptroller of Dixon, Ill., Crundwell has been federally charged with wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois. Crundwell’s indictment charges her with fraudulently obtaining more than $53 million from the city since 1990 and using the proceeds to finance her horse breeding business and lavish lifestyle.

Should the government prevail in its civil and criminal actions against Crundwell, net proceeds from the sale of the defendant’s forfeited assets will be made available for restitution to the city of Dixon.

For information, pictures, terms and conditions on the auction, go to:

For information on another Crundwell asset for sale, a luxury motor home, go to

For information on the federal case, go to

The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for managing and selling seized and forfeited properties acquired by federal criminals through illegal activities. Proceeds generated from asset sales are used to compensate victims, supplement funding for law enforcement initiatives and support community programs. As part of the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Program, the Marshals currently manage more than 19,000 assets with a value of $4.4 billion.