Crundwell Changes Plea To Guilty - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Crundwell Changes Plea To Guilty

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Rita Crundwell, the former comptroller of the City of Dixon, Ill., pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.

In doing so, she admitted she stole more than $53 million from the city since 1990 and used the proceeds to finance her quarter horse farming business and lavish lifestyle.

Crundwell pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and also agreed that she engaged in illegal money laundering as part of her plea agreement with the government.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Crundwell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or a fine totaling the greater of twice the gross gain or loss from her crime.

The government anticipates that the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines range will be 15 years and 8 months to 19 years and 7 months (188-235 months), while the defense position is that the advisory range is 12 years and 7 months to 15 years and 8 months (151-188 months).

The plea agreement allows the government and defense attorneys to recommend whatever sentence they deem appropriate.

Sentencing is set for February 14, 2013 and according to the U.S. Attorney's office, Crundwell is currently free on her own recognizance.

Crundwell still faces 60 additional charges of Felony Theft in Lee County.