Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell stands outside of the federal courthouse in Rockford on Nov. 14, 2012. Photo © Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com

Five Years Later: Crundwell’s Hometown Recovers

DIXON – The $53.7 million wound left 5 years ago hasn’t been easy to mend, but the city continues to recover financially over time.

Former city Comptroller Rita Crundwell was arrested April 17, 2012, for stealing $53.7 million across 2 decades to finance her quarter horse breeding empire and luxurious lifestyle.

That lifestyle came at the cost of the city taking on millions in debt for capital projects that it would have otherwise afforded, and it landed Crundwell in a Minnesota federal prison with a sentence of 19 years and 7 months, just 5 months shy of the maximum penalty.

It’s pegged the biggest municipal embezzlement in U.S. history.

In the wake of the 5-year anniversary of an arrest that prompted a new turn for the city, here’s a breakdown of how much has been recovered, spent and earmarked for the future.

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