The real-life Andy Dufresne: Prisoner ‘gave guards financial advice for special treatment’ Shawshank

Robert Potchen, 61, doled out financial advice to five guards at the Orange County jail and received special treatment 

Robert Potchen, 61, doled out financial advice to five guards at the Orange County jail and received special treatment 

Robert Potchen, 61, doled out financial advice to five guards at the Orange County jail and received special treatment

A Florida inmate became the real life Andy Dufrense from The Shawshank Redemption after he was given special treatment such as Chinese food, in exchange for his assistance in financial matters.

The Orange County Corrections Department found that Robert Potchen, 61, gave five guards advice on things like their taxes, mortgage and student loan debt, and in return received special privileges.

He was also allowed to access the internet, and given an electronic cigarette to puff on.

Much like Dufrense, the character in Shawshank (1994), he assisted five guards in various financial and legal matters and received special treatment in exchange for them.

While Potchen was not convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, like Dufrense, he was serving a 15-year prison sentence for at least pulling a gun on his wife.

Potchen was brought to the Orange County jail while awaiting a hearing on a probation violation.

Andy Dufrense from The Shawshank Redemption

Andy Dufrense from The Shawshank Redemption

Potchen

Potchen

An internal investigation found that Potchen (right) assisted guards with their taxes, student loans and mortgages and in return received special treatment, much like character Andy Dufrense from The Shawshank Redemption (left)

Two inmates complained to the Orange County Corrections Department about the special treatment Potchen was receiving in the jail (shown)

Two inmates complained to the Orange County Corrections Department about the special treatment Potchen was receiving in the jail (shown)

Two inmates complained to the Orange County Corrections Department about the special treatment Potchen was receiving in the jail (shown)

In the internal investigation report, obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, it reads ‘Potchen stated that he was able to find something in common with each officer to discuss and used the county’s poor working conditions and inadequate pay to his advantage.’

The scheme unraveled however, when two inmates complained about witnessing Potchen receiving special treatment.

‘To my understanding, all rules and regulations pertain to all inmates in the Orange County Jail,’ one of the inmates wrote to the OCCD.

‘I believe we should all be treated equally and no one should be given special privileges.’

Among the five guards, who have since either resigned or retired, he was particularly close with Orange County Corrections officer Lisa Rembert.

Over the course of just six months, Potchen had made close to 600 calls to a number that investigators determined was Rembert’s.

According to the report, Potchen had given Rembert power of attorney so that she would be able to evict people living in Potchen’s home, according to WESH2.

Potchen was even allowed to hang out in the guard booth, during and after hours according to the internal investigation 

Potchen was even allowed to hang out in the guard booth, during and after hours according to the internal investigation 

Potchen was even allowed to hang out in the guard booth, during and after hours according to the internal investigation

Additionally,  ‘Potchen informed Officer Rembert that his business partner was supposed to deposit $300,000 into her account.’

He also told Rembert she should buy a new truck with the money once it was deposited, however no monetary transaction ever transpired.

Each of the five officers who were implicated in the scheme: Rembert, Shawn Kelly, Bobby McDonald, Joseph Rice and Juan Perez, have resigned or retired from their posts.

According to WFTV9, Potchen has been removed from the Christian general population area into a segregated area where he is in a cell for 23 hours a day.

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