|ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) -- A former comptroller accused of stealing $53 million from her small northern Illinois city to fund a lavish lifestyle has pleaded guilty.
Rita Crundwell entered the plea Wednesday in Rockford federal court. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14.
The 58-year-old former comptroller of Dixon was accused of using her modestly paid municipal job to steal tax dollars, support an extravagant lifestyle and win national fame as a horse breeder. Crundwell had been city comptroller since the 1980s, and prosecutors say she stole more than $53 million since 1990.
Dixon is about 100 miles west of Chicago.
Mayor James Burke said Tuesday that a guilty plea would clear the way for U.S. Marshals to start selling off millions of dollars of assets still in Crundwell's name.