The top federal prosecutor in northern Illinois says former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell's theft of $53 million from the city is ``one of the most significant abuses of public trust ever seen in Illinois.'' Crundwell is accused of stealing the money over years and siphoning it into a secret account to pay for a lavish lifestyle and horse-breeding operation. Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro says federal authorities believe they have located, seized and are liquidating ``virtually every asset'' Crundwell owns. So far, Shapiro says, they've been able to raise $7.4 million from auctions. He says he hopes her case is a warning for officials in other municipalities.
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