Power Rogers & Smith Make Progress in Embezzlement Suit
Power Rogers & Smith attorney Devon C. Bruce has been hired by the City of Dixon to sue the auditing firm involved in the Rita Crundwell embezzlement scandal. Dixon has brought a lawsuit against CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, the accounting firm that was responsible for auditing for the city of Dixon as well as preparing tax returns for ex-comptroller and Dixon treasurer.
Rita Crundwell embezzled almost $54 million dollars from the city of Dixon in the span of 20 years. She pled guilty to the charges against her, including one count of wire fraud. Crundwell embezzled public funds and placed the money into her own account. She used the money to fund an extravagant lifestyle as well as her horse breeding operation.
The city of Dixon claims that the auditing firm did not address discrepancies in the invoices, where Crundwell filed statements that allegedly did not make sense. According to the suit, CliftonLarsonAllen did not connect obvious clues that would have alerted the firm and the city to the fraud earlier. Dixon is looking to have the firm repay their entire loss.
Founded in 1960, CliftonLarsenAllen specializes in privately held business, small municipalities, and nonprofit organizations. They employ 1,550 CPAs and conduct $570 million dollars in annual revenue. According to the claim, the auditing firm resigned from the city, yet continued to do annual audits and still get paid for it.
In a deposition in 2012, the Plaintiff’s attorney, Devon C. Bruce, went through the city’s records. He found files Crundwell entered on behalf of the Illinois Department of Transportation that lacked the proper heading or logo. He asserts that had the auditing firm made a quick phone call to the IDOT, officials could have caught on to Crundwell’s deception sooner than it did.