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State

N. Ill. federal prosecutors collect $78M in 2013

CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors in the busy northern Illinois district say they collected more than $78 million through prosecutions last year.

A Thursday statement from U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon in Chicago says that's more than twice the office's 2013 budget.

Chicago and other U.S. attorney offices have long highlighted the cash they generate for federal coffers as they argue for Congress to increase their budgets. Amid budget battles in Washington, many have had to put a freeze on hiring new prosecutors.

The Chicago office collected $14.5 million through asset forfeiture in 2013. The largest amount was the some $9 million secured in the case against former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell. A judge sentenced her last year to nearly 20 years in prison for stealing almost $54 million from the northern Illinois community.

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