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Ex-bookkeeper for Chicago restaurants sentenced for fraud

November 14, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — A bookkeeper for two well-known Chicago restaurants has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for stealing more than $600,000 from her employers.

Renee Johnson pleaded guilty in July in U.S. District Court to a single count of mail fraud.

Johnson of Chicago worked as a bookkeeper for One Off Hospitality LLC, which owns several bars and restaurants in the city, including the award-winning Blackbird and Avec.

Prosecutors say from 2011 to 2017, Johnson wrote hundreds of unauthorized checks from One Off’s accounts to pay her personal expenses, including real estate mortgages.

Johnson’s attorney, James Vanzant, on Tuesday told U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall a lawsuit filed against his client by One Off was settled last month for $150,000. To pay the judgment, Johnson will sell her remaining real estate.

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