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Ex-bookkeeper for Chicago restaurants charged with fraud

April 5, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — A former bookkeeper for two famed Chicago restaurants has been accused of stealing more than $600,000 from the businesses over a six-year period.

Renee Johnson was charged Wednesday with a single count of mail fraud. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan released the 60-year-old Johnson on bond.

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. According to the charges, Johnson’s duties included processing checks to vendors who provided food, labor and utilities to the restaurants.

Prosecutors say from 2011 to 2017, Johnson wrote hundreds of unauthorized checks from One Off’s accounts to pay for her personal expenses, including real estate mortgages. The fraud was detected in August.

It wasn’t immediately known if Johnson has legal representation.

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