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Counteroffers on three Crundwell properties

Jewelry sale could happen in January

DIXON – The task of unloading three Lee County properties that belong to Rita Crundwell might soon come to an end.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Friday that counteroffers have been received for the 43 acres of farmland and single-family home at 1403 Dutch Road; her 83-acre ranch at 1556 Red Brick Road; and 81 acres of Lee County farmland.

Marshals announced in November that they had received unsolicited offers of $450,000, $700,000, and $540,000, respectively.

They declined to disclose the number and value of any new offers, but said in a news release that they could accept counteroffers only if they were “no less” than 5 percent above the original offers.

Bidders who made the initial offers will have a chance to make a final offer and put down a deposit by Thursday. They, too, are not aware of the number or value of the counteroffers.

Marshals expect to sign a final sales contract by Dec. 31 and transfer the titles shortly thereafter, according to the news release.

Crundwell, 59, of Dixon, will be sentenced Feb. 14 after having pleaded guilty last month to a single charge of federal wire fraud.

The ousted comptroller admitted that she had stolen nearly $54 million in taxpayer money since 1990.

As part of the plea, she has agreed to pay full restitution.

Marshals have sold many of her assets, including her herd of prized quarter horses, to the tune of nearly $8 million.

Marshals also are selling Crundwell’s primary home at 1679 U.S. Route 52 and her vacation home in Englewood, Fla.

They have received an offer on the Route 52 home and still are reviewing it.

Marshals also received a bid on the Florida home, but it was rejected because it was “outside the competitive range of the true worth of the properly,” according to the news release.

Marshals also will sell hundreds of pieces of jewelry owned by Crundwell. The jewelry is currently in Texas.

Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector of the marshals asset forfeiture division, said Friday that an online auction of those items could happen by late January.

Marshals have a national contract with Texas-based Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers Inc. to sell jewelry seized by marshals, Wojdylo said.

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