Rita Crundwell

Hey all you dirty benches! Hoped you liked our latest episode on Rita Crundwell. She was a comptroller in Dixon who stole $53 million over a period of 20 years. We used several sources for research on Rita Crundwell. We highly recommend that our listeners watch the documentary, All the Queens Horses masterfully created by Kelly Richmond Pope. The documentary is currently available on Amazon and you can watch it for free if you have a prime account.

In December of 1990, Rita opened an account known as the (RSCDA) or Reserve Sewer Development Account which was in the care of Rita Crundwell. Based on the documentary, All the Queens Horses, there were 7 total legit accounts. Rita would move money from 6 accounts into the one Capital Development Funds Account and then transferred money into RSCDA. Rita would typically write a check payable to the treasurer. She used this money to bank roll her own personal and private business expenses, personal credit card payments, real estate, horses, and vehicles. As a result of Rita’s embezzlement scheme, she put the town of Dixon in debt for about $20 million.

Rita was released this year in 2021. Do you think that justice was served?

Articles and websites we used for this episode:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndil/pr/former-dixon-comptroller-rita-crundwell-sentenced-nearly-20-years-federal-prison-537

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2012-09-14-ct-met-indicted-treasurer-horse-auction-20120914-story.html

Morals vs Ethics

A lot of people use these two terms interchangeably but they are two separate and distinct concepts. Patty and JD discuss these terms during an episode of our podcast. If you’re listening to us you may have picked up on it during the Enron discussion. Essentially, morals is a construct or a set of values/principles we want to live by. We say “want” here because sometimes laws, policies, or a businesses culture conflict with morals. Then we are at odds with what we should or want to do. Morals are developed over a period of time and usually begin with our family, community, and culture. Sometimes the process happens unconsciously and other times we are aware that we are learning a life lesson. Many of us never even assess whether the belief is fully aligns with what we know.

Ethics is really about how you operate or how you behave. You may be faced with the question, “What should I do?” Basically, you have these morals or values. For some it might be a quick answer. For instance, don’t lie to your parents and maybe you never do. However, there could be other instances where what you want to do is in conflict with what you should do. For example, Patty is driving to Weinerschnitzel and is super excited about the excursion because she loves their chili-cheese dogs. She likes to obey the laws and treat people with respect. However, there is a traffic jam on the highway. Patty can see her exit a ¼ of a mile ahead. Patty decides to drive on the shoulder which goes against her morals about obeying laws. A car she passes by gets mad and starts honking at her. Patty gives them the middle finger as she cruises by. She feels bad for using such a derogatory symbol and feels that she’s violated another principle of hers which is to treat people with respect. So ethics is about reflecting on our morals or values and then acting in a consistent manner…or maybe you don’t. It all depends on the circumstances really.

What do you think about your morals and ethics? Ever done anything that was in conflict with your principles? What happened in the situation and why did you make the choice to act?

Crooked Enron

We have really enjoyed making this podcast so far and try not to take ourselves too seriously. Patty and I wanted to do movie reviews originally. I then requested that we throw in White Collar Crime as well. Enron was the first crime we covered and is one of the worst economic crimes to have been committed in our nation. While various experts have stated that the executives cost billions of dollars in losses, it does not account for the overall costs to people’s livelihoods. We hoped that you liked part 1 and 2. We encourage you to do your own research and to watch the documentary the Smartest Guys in the Room.

Please leave us a comment and we hope to hear from you soon.

Articles Used or Referenced for Enron episode

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/spv.asp

https://www.britannica.com/event/Enron-scandal#ref1254073

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-ap-enron-trial-glance-story.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-people-skilling/former-enron-ceo-jeffrey-skilling-released-from-federal-custody-idUSKCN1QA2ZK

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/energy/article/enron-ceo-jeffrey-skilling-houston-business-15367662.php

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5435098

https://www.businessinsider.com/10-years-later-what-happened-to-the-former-employees-of-enron-2011-12