DIXON – Horse-breeding enthusiasts who want to own a piece of ousted Dixon comptroller and world-renowned horse breeder Rita Crundwell’s empire have another shot:
Professional Auction Services of Round Hill, Va., is holding another online auction, this time of several pieces of breeding and hematology equipment, such as an incubator and a microscope.
A 40-foot Featherlite Box Trailer also is up for sale at www.professionalauction.com; bidding ends at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
That’s also the day the 59-year-old Crundwell will appear in federal court for a status hearing on her wire fraud case.
Prosecutors say Crundwell misappropriated more than $53 million in city funds since 1990 to fund her lavish lifestyle and her horse operations.The wire fraud charge stems from transactions made perpetrating the fraud, prosecutors say.
Crundwell also is charged with 60 counts of theft in Lee County; those charges accuse her of stealing more than $11 million from the city since January 2010. She has a pretrial conference Dec. 19 in that case.
Crundwell’s horses, five properties, vehicles, trailers, and numerous other items of personal property have been under the care of the U.S. Marshals Service since Crundwell was indicted in May.
A federal judge has granted several motions to sell those assets.
Professional Auction Services sold more than 400 of Crundwell’s quarter horses, online and during a live auction in September, for more than $6.4 million. Her luxury motor home and 11 other vehicles sold for $982,950 at other auctions.
Marshals say the proceeds from the sales, minus costs, will be given back to the city if Crundwell is convicted.
Marshals wanted to include the breeding lab equipment in the live auction in September, but was unable to get a judge to sign off on it in time.
The trailer initially was in the lineup at an October auction in Chicago, but marshals pulled it when it didn’t receive a bid within the range of its appraised value, said Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector of the marshals’ asset forfeiture division.
Marshals also plan to sell Crundwell’s personal items from her homes in Dixon and Englewood, Fla., in an online auction tentatively set for Dec. 6-8.
Bids from companies vying to host that auction are due this afternoon. Depending on how many companies submit a bid, a contractor could be chosen by the end of the week, Wojdylo said.