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Rita’s limited-edition saddle on the block

Next online auction will be Sunday

This limited-edition saddle will be part of the latest online auction, which starts Sunday. An inscription inside the saddle reads “To Rita and Jim: Hope you enjoy this, John Ivy 4/12.”
This limited-edition saddle will be part of the latest online auction, which starts Sunday. An inscription inside the saddle reads “To Rita and Jim: Hope you enjoy this, John Ivy 4/12.”

DIXON – A hand-crafted, limited-edition saddle and the display podium on which it sits, both custom-made i for Rita Crundwell by an Oklahoma leather craftsman, will be put up for sale this weekend.

The U.S. Marshals Service will sell the saddle, a boulder with the “RC” logo, three signs, 450 calendars, 10 yard signs, a Quasar VCR, and a Toshiba TV. The auction will run from 6 p.m. Sunday until 6 p.m Wednesday at

The auction was to begin Friday, but was pushed back when the saddle became available, said Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector of the marshals asset forfeiture division.

The latest auction comes a week after marshals sold hundreds of Crundwell’s furnishings, artwork, appliances, and electronics for more than $275,000.

Crundwell, 59, admitted Nov. 14 that she had bought much of her assets, including her herd of more than 400 horses, with nearly $54 million in taxpayer money while she was the city’s longtime comptroller.

She will be sentenced Feb. 14 in federal court.

She also is charged in Lee County with 60 counts of theft. She will return to local court Wednesday for a pretrial conference.

Marshals have brought in more than $7.93 million with the sale of the horses, tack, equipment, vehicles, trailers, breeding equipment, and a luxury motor home.

The proceeds, minus costs, will be given to the city.

The leather saddle was made by John Ivy of Owasso, Okla. It includes a leather-and-hide-wrapped podium, matching mount in a Plexiglas display, silver bit, silver spurs, and rawhide reins.

Ivy said Thursday that the rig, which he sold to Crundwell for $7,500, was fourth in a series of 12.

An inscription inside the saddle reads “To Rita and Jim: Hope you enjoy this, John Ivy 04/12.”

Marshals found the saddle at Crundwell’s vacation home in Englewood, Fla.

It’s among many items he custom-made for Crundwell over the years, including a set of cowhide directors chairs and tall round tables to go with them, he said.

Also on the market are the vacation home; 43 acres of farmland and single-family home at Dutch Road; an 83-acre ranch at 1556 Red Brick Road, also in Dixon; and 81 acres of Lee County farmland.

Marshals have received unsolicited bids totaling $1.69 million for the ranch, Dutch Road home, and farm property. 

Counter-offers are due by noon a week from today. A public inspection of those properties will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.

Marshals plan to sell Crundwell’s jewelry, valued at $500,000, and other items next year. Wojdylo said marshals have applied for an administrative forfeiture on those items.

Assets valued at $500,000 or less may be subject to an administrative (default) forfeiture that is done outside the court.

To get an administrative forfeiture, the marshals must provide notice to all parties who might have an interest in the asset. If no one files a claim, the asset will be forfeited and can be sold.

All real property must have a court order to be sold.

Get ready to bid

To see the items being sold, go to and click on "go to online auction."

Bidders must put up a $100 deposit that will be refunded if no item are won, or applied to the winning bid.

No sales tax will be charged, but a buyer’s premium of 12 percent will be tacked on to any item that sells for less than $10,000, and 6 percent for those that sell for more than $10,000. 

Anyone interested in bidding on Crundwell's properties can email Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector of the Marshals Asset Forfeiture Division, at

Go to to learn more about the sites, and about the terms and conditions of the sales. 

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