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Ex-Dixon comptroller pleads guilty; sentenced

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell was sentenced to 235 months in prison — about 19 1/2 years behind bars — for stealing nearly $54 million from the city.

Crundwell pleaded guilty in November to wire fraud and admitted that over 20 years she stole close to $54 million from the small city of Dixon to finance her lavish lifestyle.

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The state dismisses 60-counts of felony theft against former Dixon comptroller, Rita Crundwell.

Crundwell already pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing nearly $54-million in public money.

In February, she was sentenced to nearly 20-years in prison.

Prosecutors say the cost of trail combined with the fact that even if Crundwell were found guilty on the state charges he would not serve any additional jail time.

She spent the money on a lavish lifestyle and her horse breeding farm.

An auction of jewelry that belonged to former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell, held in Fort Worth, Texas and online on Saturday raised $258,000.

The highest bid was for a men’s horseshoe ring that sold for $12,000. The gold ring has 14 diamonds and is engraved with Crundwell’s initials and the name of one of her ranches.

Other items on the auction block included watches, necklaces, loose diamonds and gold bar bullion.

Crundwell was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison earlier this month, after admitting she stole more than $53-million from the city over several decades.

Authorities expect to recover only $10 million by auctioning off her belongings.

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell faces sentencing Thursday, after stealing more than $53 million from the small northwest town.

Crundwell, 60, pleaded guilty to a single felony count of wire fraud, which calls for no more than 20-years in prison. But prosecutors want more, in a case which ranks as one of the country’s greatest examples of fraud.

According to the Chicago Tribune, in the early years, prosecutors said Crundwell annually stole a few hundred thousand dollars, but by the late 1990s, as her quarter-horse business expanded and gained national attention, the thefts exploded, growing to more than $1 million in 1999, then nearly doubling to $2 million the next year.

Crundwell still faces 60 state charges of felony theft, each of which carries a potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison on conviction.

That case is due back in court in Lee County on March 4.