Philadelphia: Jonnel Perkins Plea Guilty to Embezzling

Former Bank Teller, Jonnel Perkins Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Social Security Funds From Deceased Customer’s Account

PHILADELPHIA (STL.News) Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Jonnel Perkins, 43, of Philadelphia, PA, pleaded guilty to the charge of embezzlement by a bank employee.

According to court documents filed today, the defendant was employed as a Retail Relationship Banker at a bank located in Philadelphia.  While she was employed in this position, the Social Security Administration (SSA) conducted a routine audit which identified that a customer of the bank branch where Perkins worked was likely deceased but still receiving monthly electronic benefits from the SSA.  The SSA suspended the payments to this account, but due to regulation had to wait seven years before the approximately $200,000 in accumulated benefit overpayments by the SSA could be reclaimed.

In the months prior to the time when the reclamation could be initiated, between June and December 2019, Perkins withdrew all of the funds from this dormant account.  A subsequent investigation determined that the customer whose account from which the defendant withdrew funds had been deceased since 1999.  In total, Perkins plead guilty to embezzling $207,450 from the deceased customer’s account. 

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