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Prosecutors say Crundwell's sentence warranted

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON (AP) – Federal prosecutors say the former Dixon comptroller's nearly 20-year prison sentence for stealing millions from the northern Illinois city is warranted.

Rita Crundwell pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $54 million from city coffers. She was sentenced in February to 19 years, 7 months in prison.

Crundwell's attorney appealed, saying the judge abused his discretion when he gave her more time than recommended under federal guidelines.

In a court filing Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Pedersen says the sentence was proper because of the "irreparable and devastating" harm Crundwell caused.

He also cites the "enormity and length of the scheme." The crime, which was carried out over several years, ranks as one of the worst abuses of public trust in Illinois history.

Crundwell's attorney has until Sept. 23 to respond.

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