Former Dixon comptroller pleads guilty in federal court

By WEEK Reporter

November 14, 2012 Updated Nov 14, 2012 at 8:57 PM CDT

ROCKFORD, Ill -- Rita Crundwell, accused of stealing $53 million from her small northern Illinois town, pleaded guilty today in federal court.

The 59 year-old Crundwell was comptroller for over 30 years. She left court in Rockford with her lawyer without speaking to reporters.

As part of her plea agreement with the government, Crundwell admitted to one count of wire fraud and engagement in illegal money laundering. The maximum penalty is a 20 year prison term.

So far, approximately $7.4 million of Crundwell's assets have been liquidated. Today's guilty plea clears the way for U.S. Marshals to start selling off even more of her assets.

Crundwell is scheduled to be sentenced on February 14.

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