Former City Official Sentenced For Social Security Theft

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A former Worcester city official has been sentenced to three years of probation for collecting his father's Social Security benefits for 17 years after the man's death.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that David Brunell was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in September to felony theft of government money.

Authorities say Brunell collected about $1,200 a month in Social Security benefits that were mistakenly deposited into a joint bank account after his father's death in 1993.

Prosecutors say Brunell used the money for mortgage payments, airfare and travel.

Brunell was fired from his job as the director of the Framingham Water Department after the Department of Public Works learned of the federal probe.

A judge also ordered Brunell to pay $234,177 in restitution.

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