updated 4/7/2007 8:58:03 PM ET 2007-04-08T00:58:03

A former city maintenance worker used repeating payments of $49.95 to a “John Awesome” to steal thousands of dollars from the city, prosecutors said Saturday.

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Investigators want to know if it is related to a larger theft of $3.6 million.

Prosecutors said Duwinn McClelland lifted a city bank account number from his workers’ compensation checks, then somehow used it to tap into the government fund for his own use.

McClelland is accused of quietly taking $4,000 over about 3½ years, most of it in the form of automatic electronic payments to two sexually explicit Web sites. He was arraigned Saturday on larceny and fraud charges.

Investigators discovered the suspect charges while leafing through city financial statements, trying to discover how a different man managed to infiltrate the same JPMorgan Chase account to the tune of $3.6 million.

In that case, a former social worker is accused of lavishing stolen funds on jewelry, electronic appliances and expensive personal items.

A judge set a $2,500 bail Saturday for McClelland. Attempts to contact his attorney were not immediately successful. McClelland’s telephone number at his Bronx home was unlisted.

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