Ex-comptroller pleads guilty in $53 million scam

10:11 AM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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ROCKFORD, Ill. - A former comptroller accused of stealing $53 million from her small northern Illinois city to fund a lavish lifestyle has pleaded guilty.

Rita Crundwell entered the plea Wednesday in Rockford federal court. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14.

The 58-year-old former comptroller of Dixon was accused of using her modestly paid municipal job to steal tax dollars, support an extravagant lifestyle and win national fame as a horse breeder. Crundwell had been city comptroller since the 1980s, and prosecutors say she stole more than $53 million since 1990.

Dixon is about 100 miles west of Chicago.

Mayor James Burke said Tuesday that a guilty plea would clear the way for U.S. Marshals to start selling off millions of dollars of assets still in Crundwell's name.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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