Government Law

Illinois Town Whose Comptroller Is Accused of Embezzling $53M Blames Auditors in Civil Suit

An Illinois town of some 16,000 residents that says its comptroller skimmed $53 million from its coffers over a period of a little more than 20 years has sued two firms that served as its auditors over the past five years or so, contending that Samuel S. Card, CPA and Janis Card Co. should have caught on to the massive alleged embezzlement.

Two banks from which the city is seeking information are named as respondents in discovery in the suit, which was filed Friday in Lee County. It alleges that the auditors “failed to report and identify irregularities in the financial statements, accounting and controls in the City of Dixon,” according to the Chicago Tribune and KWQC.

Former comptroller Rita Crundwell has pleaded not guilty in federal court in Rockford to a single count of wire fraud. The city mayor says he first learned of the massive claimed theft after Crundwell went on vacation last fall. The city clerk filled in for her, discovered a bank account in Crundwell’s name and brought it to the mayor’s attention. He then launched an investigation.

A woman who answered the phone for the two companies told the newspaper that they declined to comment, and an attorney for Samuel Card could not be reached.

Additional coverage: “Longtime Comptroller Is Accused of Stealing $30M From Small Illinois Town in 6 Years”

Lee News Service: “In wake of Dixon theft, cities double-check the books”

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