50°FFog/MistFull Forecast

Crundwell jewelry collection to be sold

Live auction slated for Feb. 23, U.S. marshals say

Published: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 6:09 p.m. CDT
(Courtesy of U.S. Marshals office)
This gold and diamond necklace is one of 228 pieces of jewelry that belonged to former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell slated to be sold at auction Feb. 23.

A gold and diamond-encrusted ring in the shape of a belt buckle is one of hundreds of pieces of Rita Crundwell’s jewelry that soon could be yours.

The U.S. Marshals Service will hold a live auction Feb. 23 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas, to sell 228 pieces that belonged to the ousted Dixon comptroller.

Like her furnishings, may pieces have a western or horsey theme.

The auction will begin at 10 a.m. and end when the last item is sold. A preview will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 22. Admission to both is free.

If you can’t make the trek, you still can bid during a live simulcast at, the website for Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers.

Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector of the marshals asset forfeiture division, said the auction company is working to get pictures and descriptions of all the items on its site, along with more information about the auction itself.

The jewelry – estimated to be worth $500,000 – and much of Crundwell’s empire were paid for with the nearly $54 million she admitted stealing from the city since 1990.

Crundwell faces up to 20 years in prison when she is sentenced Feb. 14 for federal wire fraud. She pleaded guilty in November.

Some of the rings and bracelets she bought for her longtime boyfriend, Jim McKillips, also will be sold at auction, as will other jewelry seized in unrelated cases, Wojdylo said.

Marshals already have sold most of Crundwell’s assets, including three Lee County properties, her herd of quarter horses, furnishings, vehicles, and other items.

In addition to the jewelry, they have yet to sell a golf cart she bought in Florida a month before her April 17 arrest; a white 2009 Jeep Liberty that she drove to some court appearances; another vehicle or trailer, and two more properties.

Marshals have received an unsolicited bid of $350,000 on Crundwell’s Route 52 home outside Dixon. Counteroffers are due by 2 p.m. today. The original bidder then will have a chance to counter the offer.

Marshals have not received an offer on Crundwell’s vacation home in Englewood, Fla. If they don’t get an unsolicited bid by mid-February, he will contact a broker, Wojdylo said.

Get breaking news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from Sauk Valley Media!

National video

Reader Poll

There’s a movement afoot in the Illinois Legislature to name former President Barack Obama’s birthday (Aug. 4) as a legal holiday in Illinois. What do you think?
Good idea
Bad idea
Not sure
No opinion