Rockford vet seeks payment from Crundwell assets

Jul 19, 2012

Rockford-based Strathman Veterinary Services Inc. says Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell owes more than $52,000 for services to 67 of her horses, according to documents filed in federal court this week.

The company’s attorney filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit filed in early May to recoup those losses when U.S. Marshals sell those and 334 other horses that belong to Crundwell.

Several other parties already have intervened in the suit: horse breeders Brock and Kristi Allen of Allen Equine and veterinarians A. Barry Wood and Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, all of Texas; and the Meri-J Ranch in Beloit, Wis.

Crundwell, 59, was arrested April 17 on a charge of wire fraud related to the misappropriation of more than $52 million in Dixon city funds.

On May 1, federal prosecutors filed a lawsuit seeking to seize and sell 401 horses and other items to pay maintenance costs and relieve the marshals service of the “burden.”

Most of the horses are in Dixon; 60 are boarded in Beloit and 54 in Texas. The rest are spread throughout the country. The sale was approved June 15, and bids have been requested from potential auctioneers.

A similar request to sell several of Crundwell’s properties and a $2.1 million luxury motor home was granted, and marshals have advertised for bids.

The Strathman motion claims the company had provided veterinary services to Crundwell’s horses in Illinois and Wisconsin for about 10 years. There is an outstanding balance of $52,274, the filing states