CHICAGO (CBS) — A former Chicago Police Department commander once hailed for his work reducing violent crime in Englewood has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $363,000 in Social Security benefits after his mother died in 1994.
Former Englewood District Cmdr. Kenneth Johnson was charged last year with bilking the Social Security Administration for more than 23 years.
He pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of theft of government funds, admitting after his mother’s death in May of 1994, he did not notify the Social Security Administration, prompting the agency to continue depositing money in a joint bank account he and his mother shared through November 2017.
Over that time, the Treasury Department deposited approximately $363,064 into her account, and Johnson did not return any of the money, according to his plea agreement.
As part of his deal, federal prosecutors said Johnson would face 18 to 24 months in prison under preliminary sentencing guidelines, although a federal judge can sentence him to up to 10 years. Johnson also faces a fine of up to twice what he stole, plus full restitution to the Social Security Administration.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 11.
Johnson retired from the force last August, after 32 years with the department, and three months before he was charged. As commander of the Englewood District, he had won praise for historic reductions in murders and shootings in 2017.