Authorities have accused a 62-year-old Northfield man of collecting more than $684,000 in disability benefits despite still being able to work.
Thomas H. Cannell now faces federal charges of theft of government funds and wire fraud. Officials say he Cannell began to collect Social Security and workers' compensation benefits in 1980 after developing lower back pain at work, followed by more disability payments two years later after an on-the-job injury. He was required to report to both agencies if he returned to work, which would have terminated the benefits.
Cannell allegedly began working as a fireplace salesman, and circumvented regulations by not being paid directly from his employers. Investigators say this scheme continued for "decades" before being uncovered in 2016.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Payum Doroodian will prosecute the case.