A former Florida prison guard is free on bond after being charged with faking illness to fraudulently collect more than $2.7 million in workers’ compensation.
Authorities said David Brownell was arrested last week in Tampa, where he lives. He was freed from the Hillsborough County Jail under a $50,000 bond.
Brownell claimed he suffered respiratory problems and was dependent on oxygen around the clock due to exposure to rats and their feces at Glades Correctional Institution in Belle Glade.
Investigators with the state Division of Insurance Fraud said video surveillance over several years disputed that claim. They include scenes of him smoking and playing guitar in a band.
Brownell was arrested wearing his oxygen mask.
His lawyer did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.