Illinois Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

A small-town bookkeeper was accused of living on tens of millions of dollars she allegedly stole.
3:00 | 11/15/12

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Transcript for Illinois Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
We're going to turn, now, to the brazen embezzlement for a small-town bookie from illinois. Living a high life on the millions she stole from years of service. She's been caught and john schriffen has the story. Why did you steal that money for so long? Reporter: People in dixon, illinois, knew rita crundwell as the woman with the prize-winning horses. They never suspected that they had paid for them, as well as the jeweler in these pictures, on obtained by abc news. Now, the 59-year-old has been exposed as the anti-robin hood, stealing $53 million from taxpayers so she could live the high life. Nobody really had any idea she was doing what she did. Reporter: Crundwell took the money while serving as comptroller in the town of dixon. She spent the money on a $2 million custom r.V., A florida vacation home, and her prized possession, a world-class horse breeding farm. Now, all of the ill-gotten gains are up for auction by the u.S. Marshals, including 400 horses. The question many are asking, how crundwell was able to get away with it for so long. There were no red flags that we were able to -- or did notice. Reporter: The mayor of dixon says, she was the only person who controlled the city's finances and funneled public money into her secret private accounts. Authorities say crundwell was taken down after going on vacation. Her replacement called the bank to clear up some confusing paperwork. Wednesday, she showed up in court to plead guilty, facing up to 20 years in prison. For "good morning america," john schriffen, abc news, chicago.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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