Sentencing planned Thursday for small-town Illinois ex-bookkeeper who stole $53 million

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Former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell is set to be sentenced for embezzling more than $53 million from the northern Illinois city.

Crundwell's sentencing is scheduled for Thursday morning in Rockford federal court. She pleaded guilty in November to wire fraud, admitting she stole the money from the city of Dixon while she was comptroller. She still faces 60 separate but related state felony charges for theft in Lee County. She has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Crundwell's public defender has asked for a lenient prison sentence, saying Crundwell has cooperated with investigators. That would be at the lower end of sentencing guidelines, between 13 and 16 years in prison. The most she could face is 20 years in prison. Prosecutors have said her sentence should be above the guidelines.