, Salem, MA

Local News

December 18, 2013

Pair admit Social Security fraud

PEABODY — Two Georgetown men pleaded guilty yesterday to a scheme to collect more than $100,000 in Social Security disability benefits while one partner held down a full-time job.

Charles Flynn, 35, and Steven Grondell, 44, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston to charges of theft of public money.

Prosecutors say Flynn began receiving Social Security disability income in 2004.

Four years later, in 2008, Flynn took a job at iParty, a Peabody party supply store. But at work, he used the name and Social Security number of his partner, Grondell.

Flynn made between $30,000 and $40,000 a year at iParty, income that would have led to the suspension of his disability payments.

So, prosecutors said, he never told the government. As recently as last year, during a benefits review by Social Security, he claimed he hadn’t worked since 2003.

Grondell aided in the scheme by allowing Flynn to use his identity and by filing tax returns claiming the income as his own, prosecutors said.

Flynn ultimately collected $105,158 in Social Security benefits to which he was not entitled.

The two are scheduled to be sentenced in March.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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