Sentencing / Post Conviction

Horse-loving ex-city comptroller who embezzled $54 million gets 19.5 years in prison

Rita Crundwell, who had a penchant for show horses and the expensive trappings that come with them—and embezzled $54 million from the city of Dixon, Ill.—got a federal sentence of 19½ years today. Authorities call her crime the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history.

The former city comptroller’s thefts from the town may date back to 1988, the Chicago Tribune reports. She pleaded guilty to wire fraud (PDF) and agreed to a forfeiture judgment in 2012.

“I’m truly sorry to the city of Dixon and my family and my friends,” the 60-year-old Crundwell said before the sentencing, according to the article.

So far, according to the Tribune, U.S. marshals have collected approximately $11 million from selling Crundwell’s homes, horses, personal property and a luxury motor home.

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