Former Dixon Comptroller Sentenced To 19 Years, 7 Months - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Former Dixon Comptroller Sentenced To 19 Years, 7 Months

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Former Comptroller Rita Crundwell has received just short of the maximum sentence for stealing $53 million from the City of Dixon, Illinois. On Thursday morning, a federal judge in Rockford sentenced her to spend 19 years and 7 months in prison.

Residents from the City of Dixon filled the courtroom to hear the judge hand down Crundwell's sentence.

"It's finalization that she's going to be sent away for the rest of her life," said Rich Lawton, Dixon resident.

"I didn't think she'd get what she got," said Josie Whaley, Dixon resident.

"I am glad the sentence was what it was," said Mary Hahn, who grew up in Dixon. "I think it's appropriate for the crimes she has committed for such a long period of time."

Many hoped that 60-year-old Crundwell would have something to say for herself, and she did. Through her tears, she told the residents of Dixon she was sorry.

"She did apologize, said Hahn. "I don't think it was enough."

"She could have said a few more things," Whaley said.

For decades, Crundwell lead a lavish lifestyles on the taxpayers' dime. The City of Dixon skimped by with no extra money for equipment upgrades or street repairs.

"I don't know how she was able to sleep all those years," Hahn said.

Now that Crundwell is headed to prison, some Dixon residents say they'll be able to sleep better. But it's going to take time.

"The embarrassment that the public sees in Dixon now, the community has shouldered that," Lawton said.

"We had the honor of one of the U.S. presidents from Dixon.Now, we have one of the greatest crooks in U.S. history."

Crundwell pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in the federal case against her. She admitted to taking millions over a period of years and spending the money on homes, jewelry and champion show horses.

She faced a maximum of 20 years on the charge. She still faces embezzlement charges filed by state prosecutors.