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Co workers of alleged embezzler recount her lifestyle

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:33:51 CDT
By: AP

Friends and co-workers of a small-town bookkeeper accused of embezzling millions of dollars say she dazzled them with invitations to her horse ranch and home in northern Illinois. Stephanie Terranova worked with Rita Crundwell at Dixon's City Hall. She says Crundwell displayed trophies hauled back from world championship exhibitions, and she recalls visitors in cowboy hats arriving to buy some of the best-bred horses in the nation. Colleagues and neighbors never suspected what federal prosecutors say was a theft of $30 million in public funds. Crundwell is free on bond and could enter a plea at a May 7 status hearing. Her lawyer, federal public defender Paul Gaziano, is refusing to comment on the case, which stunned tiny Dixon, the boyhood home of late President Ronald Reagan.

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