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Family land trust subject of filing

Siblings want court to leave their share alone

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Rita Crundwell

DIXON – Partners of a land trust that includes Rita Crundwell – her brothers and sisters – want to be on record with the federal court: The trust does not belong solely to her.

In a court document filed Wednesday, they are asking the court to acknowledge their rights as partners of the trust, which is subject to forfeiture as part of the $54 million in restitution Crundwell owes the city of Dixon.

When the former comptroller was sentenced Feb. 14 for wire fraud, federal Judge Philip Reinhard ordered a preliminary order of forfeiture for her share of the trust.

Caroline Humphrey, Crundwell's mother, died in August 1984. At the time of her death, she owned various assets, including farmland that she left in equal shares to her children. Crundwell and her siblings formed the Humphrey Family Farms partnership in 1986.

The beneficiaries were Crundwell, her sisters Linda Burkitt and Carol Ann Beardin, and her brothers Ray, Roger and Richard Humphrey. The document filed Wednesday states that Crundwell is not the owner of the trust, and that Richard ceased being a partner in 1987.

Crundwell does not hold the title. The Chicago Title Land Trust Co. holds the title. The land trust is subject to partnership law, which gives the partners certain rights to what can and can't be done with Crundwell's share.

The partnership acknowledges that Crundwell's share is an asset to be applied to the court's forfeiture order, and has turned over $5,000 issued on behalf of Crundwell.

Earlier this week, Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector for the asset forfeiture division of the U.S. Marshals Service, said the government will have a one-fifth interest in Crundwell's trust, and will have to decide how to proceed with that interest. He estimated it amounts to about 69.4 acres.

Some options may include giving the trust to the city of Dixon, selling the interest or receiving a buyout from the other partners.

To date, Wojdylo said Dixon should reap about $10 million from the sale of all Crundwell's assets.

Her Englewood, Fla. vacation home recently was listed by Re/Max Alliance Group with an asking price of $254,900. In addition, two vehicles and a box trailer remain to be auctioned.

Other assets, such as her show clothing, trophies and some miscellaneous property, are being analyzed to determine whether they are worth selling, Wojdylo said.

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