A bookkeeper pleaded guilty to allegations she embezzled more than $50 million from a small city in Illinois.
Rita Crundwell, the former comptroller of Dixon, pleaded guilty to a charge of wire fraud in federal court in Rockford. She was allowed to remain free until her Feb. 14 sentencing hearing. Prosecutors have said she stole public money while overseeing the city's finances and siphoned it into a secret bank account.
Authorities say Crundwell bought luxury homes and vehicles and spent millions on her horse-breeding operation, RC Quarter Horses LLC, which produced 52 world champions in exhibitions run by the American Quarter Horse Association.
Her scheme unraveled when a co-worker filling in during Crundwell's vacation stumbled upon her secret bank account, prosecutors said.