NORTHFIELD VILLAGE, OH (WOIO) - Thomas Cannell, of Northfield Village, has been charged in federal court with stealing $684,000 from the U.S. Social Security Administration and the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.
Cannell, according to court documents, started receiving disability payments from both agencies in the early 80s, and then went on permanent total disability in 1990, claiming he could no longer work.
However, after an OhioBWC claims worker heard a voicemail greeting while calling Cannell's phone that indicated he was employed, an investigation was launched, which uncovered Cannell had been working for most of the years he was on disability, according to investigators.
The feds allege during the time Cannell was collecting disability from two agencies, he was working as a fireplace salesman at a number of fireplace shops in Northeast Ohio.
Cannell allegedly tried to hide his pay by having the business owners cut checks to a shell company called Cannell Marketing.
Owners of the businesses where reportedly unaware of his scam and at least one former employer cooperated in the undercover investigation.
While he was employed, the feds say Cannell collected over $479,000 from the Social Security Administration and just over $204,000 from OhioBWC.
He is expected to be arraigned in federal court on April 26.