Day 2 of Rita Crundwell Horse Auction

DIXON (WIFR) -- It's one of the biggest financial scandals to hit a small town and on Monday, Dixon moved forward with plans to collect some of the $53 million stolen from right under leaders' noses.

$2.5 million worth of Rita Crundwell's belongings are in the hands of new owners and the bidding remains fast paced during day 2 of the horse auction at the former comptroller's ranch. Now, there are more empty chairs, but determined buyers are still walking away with new horses and equipment.

“I am happy, a quarter horse mare. Thank god for Rita!” said registered bidder Jill VanPatten.

Several buyers have spent the last two days at the auction, and say it can only be described as historic.

“It’s a once in a lifetime purchase. Her animals are gorgeous," said VanPatten.

“It’s kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity really,” said Neely Brown, a registered bidder from Iowa. “There are some amazing horses here she had a great breeding program.”

The US Marshals service says they've already made back the $1.3 million they have spent caring for Crundwell's 400 horses.

“The welfare of the animals has been of the utmost importance so that has added a very serious dynamic to this case unlike anything else,” says Jason Wojdylo, Chief Inspector with the U.S. Marshals Service.

Still up for sale are 171 horses, and several trailers and vehicles, including a luxury motor home.

"As of this morning, the trailer received 70 bids, with the highest bid at $754,000," said Wojdylo.

The rest of the money made during the auction will be placed into a bank account. It will be up to the court to decide where the money goes, but many Dixon taxpayers are hopeful the city gets back some of the $53 million it is owed.

If Crundwell is found not guilty, the US Marshals Service says the proceeds from the auctions will be returned to her. More of Crundwell's assets will be auctioned off at a later date. Any horses not sold will be place up for adoption.


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