Reporting Marissa Bailey
(CBS) — Federal prosecutors say former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell should get the maximum sentence for stealing city funds because she lied to the FBI when she was originally arrested in April 2012.
When FBI agents confronted Crundwell on April 17th, 2012, they told her they were aware of a secret bank account and knew she had stolen money, a memorandum filed by the U.S. Department of Justice said. When they asked why, she admitted to stealing in 1999 or 2000, but the feds say the secret account was opened in December 1990, a decade earlier.
During the course of questioning, Crundwell told investigators she took $10 million, the filing says. Seven months later when she accepted a plea deal, she admitted to stealing more than $53 million over a 22-year period.
Federal prosecutors released the information Monday, arguing Crundwell should receive the maximum 20-year sentence when a judge sentences her Thursday in Rockford federal court.
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The report was in response to a memo filed by Crundwell’s defense attorneys last week saying the 60-year-old should be granted leniency.
Dixon’s mayor and numerous residents are expected to attend the court hearing.
Crundwell pleaded guilty in November to stealing village funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle and to purchase more than 400 American quarter horses. U.S. marshals and the FBI have liquidated her assets, which included cars, homes and horses.