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Detroit — A former Chase Bank employee faces more than five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing $448,967 from the government.

Johnnie Christopher Jr., 46, of Detroit stole government benefits from the accounts of two dead people while working at Chase, federal prosecutors said.

Christopher’s job at the bank involved tracking down hard-to-reach customers. After determining that two customers were dead, he stole their identities, ordered replacement ATM cards and drained their accounts.

A large amount of money included government retirement and pension benefits, prosecutors said.

Investigators learned in May that the money was transferred to a shell corporation created by Christopher. He admitted forging the customers’ names on checks and investigators said he had been transferring money since 2012.

As part of the plea deal, Christopher agreed to pay $448,967 restitution.

He will be sentenced Feb. 25 by U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain.

rsnell@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2028

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