ByCrimesider StaffCBS NewsFebruary 14, 2013, 10:28 AM
Rita Crundwell, financial officer who allegedly stole $53 million from Illinois city, to be sentenced
This Nov. 2011 photo provided on April 18, 2012, by The American Quarter Horse Journal, shows Rita Crundwell, of Dixon, Ill., posing with Pizzazzy Lady at the 2011 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City. On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, FBI agents arrested Crundwell, the Dixon comptroller, on charges that she stole more than $3.2 million in public funds from the city of Dixon in just a matter of months. She also was accused of misappropriating more than $30 million since 2006 to finance a lavish lifestyle, including operating a horse farm.
Crundwell's sentencing is scheduled for Thursday morning in Rockford federal court. She pleaded guilty in November to wire fraud, admitting she stole the money from the city of Dixon while she was comptroller. She still faces 60 separate but related state felony charges for theft in Lee County. She has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Crundwell's public defender has asked for a lenient prison sentence, saying Crundwell has cooperated with investigators. That would be at the lower end of sentencing guidelines, between 13 and 16 years in prison. The most she could face is 20 years in prison. Prosecutors have said her sentence should be above the guildelines.