LEE COUNTY, Fla - Shannon Tumminello made his first court appearance early Wednesday morning.
"Good morning Mr Tumminello you are charged with an out of state fugitive warrant. It's for grand larceny. Out of the state of New York," said Judge Gagliardi.
Prosecutors say Tumminello, a retired NYPD officer, now living in Sanibel, scammed the federal government. Tumminello allegedly collected $315,000 in social secuirty disability benefits, that didn't belong to him.
Neighbor Val Bupp said she couldn't comment on whether he was guilty or not, but did express disgust for those that commit fraud.
"If they are not disabled and getting disability then they are taking away from people who are disabled," said Bupp.
Tumminello's attorney told WINK News, the 41-year-old suffers from a herniated disk, depression and anxiety.
"He's got some real serious medical issues," said Hal Stephens.
But the Manhattan DA's office says dozens of police officers, firefighters, and prison guards faked psychiatric problems to get Social Security.
"People are defrauding the system all the time so it's not a surprise. It kind of hurts a little bit but it's not a surprise," said Bupp.
Because he had no priors, the courts allowed Tumminello to turn himself in to New York officials. He must do so by January 15th.
"It's a very very bad situation to leave a retired police officer in a prison population," said his attorney.
His attorney also told WINK news, that he believes his client will be exonerated.