Accounting firm fined $35 million for oversight failure in embezzlement scam


A Minnesota accounting firm will pay a $35.15 million fine for not detecting an embezzlement scheme run by the former comptroller of an Illinois city.

The Pioneer Press reports that the firm, CliftonLarsonAllen served as the auditor for the city of Dixon, Ill, overseeing bookkeeping and payroll.

Dixon's comptroller, Rita Crundwell, 60, was arrested last year. The charges against her say she stole $54 million over 22 years, siphoning city funds into fraudulent accounts that she controlled. The Star Tribune reports that the city said CliftonLarsonAllen let millions of dollars leave city coffers without adequate oversight and standard accounting tests.

“It’s shocking. It’s negligence,” said Devon Bruce, the attorney for the city.

Terms of a lawsuit settlement were negotiated over the weekend by attorneys for the city and CliftonLarsonAllen as well as another accounting firm and a bank.

When she was arrested, federal authorities said Crundwell had used the money "to finance her own lavish lifestyle, including operating a horse farm." She is serving a prison term of almost 20 years at the federal facility in Waseca, Minn., after a guilty plea to one count of wire fraud

Regarding the CliftonLarsonAllen fine, Dixon Mayor Jim Burke said, "The size of the settlement kind of speaks for itself."

CliftonLarsonAllen employs 3,600 professionals, including more than 1,500 CPAs. The firm has offices in 14 Minnesota cities.

Next Up


Eagan-based Villaume Industries pays $90K fine in gender discrimination case

After the Minnesota Department of Human Rights found the company refused to hire women, Villaume committed to reforms


11 more people charged in massive magazine scam plead guilty

In total, 63 people from across the U.S. were charged in what prosecutors called the "largest elder fraud scheme in the nation."

Alex Stalock

Wild goalie Alex Stalock claimed off waivers by Oilers

The South St. Paul native will be heading to Edmonton.

Mortensen becker-finn

Shakopee GOPer posts DFL lawmaker's personal cell number on Facebook

Rep. Erik Mortensen has been accused of 'doxxing' Twin Cities lawmaker Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn.

derek chauvin

Minneapolis scraps plan to pay 'influencers' to share information during Chauvin trial

The plan to pay influencers to share city-approved messages during the trials of the officers charged in George Floyd's death drew criticism.


Toddler called 911 and said 'baby' was dead, turned out to be her doll

We're checking into whether the doll is named 'Chucky.'

Target Center

NCAA Women's Final Four 2022 will be held in Minneapolis

The NCAA unveiled the logo for the 2022 Final Four on Monday.


As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.


Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run in St. Paul Sunday evening

The incident occurred near the intersection of Phalen Boulevard and Atlantic Street.