ROCKFORD – 58-year-old Rita Crundwell was released on $4,500 bond Wednesday. Crundwell has multiple charges against her for wire fraud. The long time Dixon, Ill. employee is accused of stealing more than $30 million of city funds just since 2006.
Crundwell was also very well known with the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association). YouTube Videos tout her as, a “champion for eight consecutive years” in the AQHA. Now that she’s accused of stealing $30 million, people are speaking out against her.
A comment below one of her YouTube videos says “Rita Crundwell should be banished from all books and be forced to give back all trophies.” News 8 talked with the AQHA Wednesday about how much they’ve dealt with the issue since the arrest Tuesday.
“We have gotten multiple calls here to the Association itself,” AQHA Marketing Director Jim Campbell said.
The question many are wondering now is whether Crundwell should have to forfeit all of her championships because she’s accused of using stolen money to help raise her horses.
“It’s really preliminary for us to hypothesize any sort of action that AQHA could take,” Campbell said.
Other comments under one of her YouTube videos says, “Everything she has belongs to the city and all awards should go to the 2nd runner up.”
“The interest obviously in the industry is significant,” Campbell said.
Crundwell had been in federal custody since Tuesday. Dixon Mayor James Burke says the city will try to recoup as much of the $30 million as it can.