ROCKFORD, Ill. --- The top federal prosecutor in northern Illinois says former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell's theft of $53 million from the city is "one of the most significant abuses of public trust ever seen in Illinois."
Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro spoke Wednesday morning inside the federal courthouse in Rockford, where Crundwell changed her plea to guilty. Crundwell is accused of stealing the money over years and siphoning it into a secret account to pay for a lavish lifestyle and horse-breeding operation.
Shapiro says that federal authorities believe they have located, seized and are liquidating "virtually every asset" Crundwell owns. So far, Shapiro says, they've been able to raise $7.4 million from auctions. He says that he hopes her case is a warning for officials in other municipalities.
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