TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The state announced the arrest Friday of a former corrections officer accused of faking illness to fraudulently collect more than $2.7 million.
David Brownell, 47, used to be a corrections officer at Glades Correctional Institution in Belle Glade, Florida. He is accused of fraud for filing a workers' compensation claim in 1995 that his work there exposed him to rats and rat feces that caused him respiratory problems. He claimed the problems were so extreme he became dependent on oxygen -- needing it 24 hours a day.
The Florida Department of Financial Services' Division investigated. It reports that surveillance video showed Brownell was not oxygen-dependent. The Division claims it has "extensive video surveillance" that showed Brownell playing guitar in a band, going to a concert and even smoking cigarettes.
Brownell surrendered Wednesday still wearing an oxygen mask.
He was booked at the Hillsborough County jail and released after posting a $50,000 bond. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.