CHICAGO – The former comptroller of a small Illinois city faces nearly 20 years in prison under the sentence handed down by a federal judge following her conviction for stealing more than $53 million from city coffers over two decades.

Rita Crundwell, 60, used the funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle and quarter horse farming business while the city of Dixon struggled to balance its books and was forced to cut services. Crundwell was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard in federal court in Rockford, Ill.

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