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DIXON, STERLING AND ROCK FALLS, IL
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Marshals get agent for home in Florida

Created: Thursday, March 21, 2013 2:20 a.m. CST
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:20 p.m. CST

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – Looking for something different? Perhaps with a view of the Gulf of Mexico?

“Then take a look at this two-story home,” suggests the real estate listing for former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell’s Englewood, Fla., digs.

The only one of Crundwell’s five properties yet to be sold is listed by Re/Max Alliance Group. The asking price is $254,900.

The 2,300-square-foot home hit the market Monday and already has been shown to five different parties, said Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service’s Asset Forfeiture Division, charged with liquidating the embezzler’s belongings.

The home – “just minutes away from the beach” – has arches, a beamed ceiling, hardwood floors, a huge walk-in closet, a balcony overlooking the waterway and a luxurious master bath with a double basin, granite countertop vanity, a Roman shower, a separate hot tub and a privacy commode. Oh, and a guest suite.

Crundwell’s four other Lee County properties, bought with at least some of the $54 million she stole from the city of Dixon, sold for a total of $3,415,376 through an unsolicited bid process that Wojdylo said saved about $250,000 by not going through a real estate agent.

Marshals also received six unsolicited offers for the Florida property, but each was more than $100,000 below the listing price, Wojdylo said.

“Understandably, we couldn’t accept them,” he said. “They feel outside of the competitive range of what the property is worth.”

So the service decided to hire a real estate company. The agent will receive a 5.49 percent sales commission, less than the customary 6 percent, Wojdylo said.

In addition to the properties, Crundwell’s herd of 400 prize quarter horses, a fleet of vehicles, jewelry, furniture and other assets have been sold to pay restitution to the city. Marshals estimate Dixon will reap about $10 million within the next several months.

“This is the last big asset,” Wojdylo said. Two of Crundwell’s 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 should be sold.

“We don’t want to achieve a loss, so we are evaluating if it is worth our efforts,” Wojdylo said.

At some point, the federal government also will take possession of one-fifth of Crundwell’s family trust, which amounts to about 69.4 acres of Lee County farmland, he said.

Crundwell was sentenced Feb. 14 to 19 years, 7 months in prison for federal wire fraud. She admitted to stealing nearly $54 million in city funds over two decades in an elaborate scheme that involved dummy state invoices and a secret bank account through which she filtered the money.

On the web

Go to http://goo.gl/MNpF7o to view the property listing for Rita Crundwell's former home in Englewood, Fla.

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