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U.S. Marshals Service: One of Crundwell loans repaid

Agency still working on two other loans

Published: Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 12:54 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 1:01 p.m. CST

DIXON – A loan from former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell to Fire Chief Tim Shipman and his wife, Diane, has been repaid with interest, the U.S. Marshals Service said Thursday.

The money will be applied to the restitution Crundwell was ordered to pay the city after she pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $54 million from Dixon throughout two decades.

On Feb. 14, 2013, Crundwell was sentenced to 19 years and 7 months for wire fraud. She’s serving her sentence in a low-security prison in Waseca, Minn.

Details of the Shipman loan – the amount, interest and date of repayment – weren’t released. Lynzey Donahue, a spokeswoman with the Marshals Service, said the Privacy Act of 1974 and the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 prevent the agency from releasing those details.

Shipman declined to discuss the amount or terms of the loan but said the repayment was finalized in the past month after discussions with the federal government were reopened.

He said he was glad to have the issue finalized, and that it was something he hasn’t been avoiding but needed direction from the government.

There also was a personal loan from Crundwell to former City Engineer Shawn Ortgiesen and his wife, Angela; and a $2,000 loan from Crundwell to Donald Wolber, who didn’t work for the city.

Dixon Mayor Jim Burke said he was happy to have this issue put to rest. The next step, he said, will be to get the Ortgiesen loan and the other Crundwell assets taken care of, which he hopes will happen by the end of the year.

“I know that the Marshals Service told me that Tim and Diane were fully cooperative on that whole thing,” Burke said. “The Marshals Service is convinced that Tim had no clue that he was dealing with city money through Rita.”

The money from the Shipman loan will be included with other monies recently recovered and will be given to the city, the Marshals Service said in a statement, adding that the agency is “working closely with other parties to address repayment of loans they also had with Crundwell.”

The city will likely receive another restitution check in about a month, Donahue said, adding that she didn’t know the amount.

In the aftermath of Crundwell’s arrest and conviction, Dixon has received about $39.2 million from the settlement with its former auditors and bank and from the sale of Crundwell’s property.

There still are Crundwell assets remaining that the Marshals Service will work to seize and turn over to the city, including a stake in a family trust, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund contributions and clothing and trophies from horse competitions.

Money resulting from the sale of some of those assets will be included in the next restitution check sent to the city, Donahue said. She declined to say which of the other assets those would be.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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