Virginia horse auction company chosen to sell Crundwell herd
Most to be sold here, some online
DIXON – A Virginia horse auction company with more than 30 years of experience will take on the task of selling more than 400 horses and related items belonging to ousted Dixon comptroller Rita A. Crundwell.
Professional Auction Services Inc. of Round Hill has been awarded a “zero-dollar” contract, the U.S. Marshals Service announced Tuesday. That means payment will come from the buyer’s premium – the commission that a winning bidder pays straight to the auctioneer.
According to award information on a federal procurement website, that could net the company nearly $1.12 million.
That’s a “good faith” number estimated by the company and could change depending on how the sale goes, said Jason Wojdylo, assistant chief inspector of the Marshals Asset Forfeiture Division.
The company will not be paid a commission or fee by the marshals or from proceeds of the sale, Wojdylo said.
The contract runs from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30. A multiday live auction is slated for mid-September at Crundwell’s farm at 1556 Red Brick Road in Dixon, where the bulk of her 401 horses are boarded.
Wojdylo said he expects Crundwell’s horses at the Meri-J Ranch in Beloit, Wis., also will be sold in Dixon, while the rest of the horses scattered across the country will be sold online.
Admission to the auction will be free, and online bids will be taken.
Previews will be by appointment only.
Professional Auction Services will get the horses ready for sale, coordinate security and traffic control with law enforcement, and provide reasonable shelter for bidders and spectators, and arrange advertising for the auction.
More details of the sale, including a sales catalog and price of the assets, will be listed on the company’s website, www.professionalauction.com; in at least one national print publication; and with other horse industry associations.
Marshals and company representatives will provide a statement at a news conference Aug. 2 in Dixon.
The horses have been under the care of the marshals service since Crundwell was indicted May 1 on a federal charge of wire fraud. Prosecutors say Crundwell, 59, misappropriated more than $53 million in city funds over 2 decades to pay for her horse operations and a “lavish lifestyle.”
On June 15, federal Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney OK’d the sale of the horses, along with 21 embryos, 13 saddles, and frozen stallion semen from eight horses.
A similar request was granted to sell her $2.1 million luxury motor home and five real estate properties. Marshals have said that the sale of some of the properties is on hold until the horses can be sold.
Professional Auction Services was one of five companies to submit a proposal to conduct the sale. Proposals were evaluated on technical approach, past work performance with similar requirements, and price.
The company declined to comment Tuesday.
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