Small-Town Comptroller Rita Crundwell Gets Nearly 20 Years For $53 Million Fraud


Rita Crundwell sentenced
Rita Crundwell sentenced

ROCKFORD, Ill. -- A former city bookkeeper was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison Thursday for embezzling more than $53 million from her Illinois community, in what ranks as one of the worst abuses of public trust in the state's corruption-rich history.

Rita Crundwell, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud for embezzling money from the city of Dixon from 1991 until her arrest last April, tearfully apologized in a Rockford federal courtroom before U.S. District Judge Philip Reinhard sentenced her to 19 years and 7 months in federal prison -- just shy of the maximum 20 years. She was taken into custody at the end of the hearing.