No way is this story real. It started out all over British papers, not US ones, although it looks like the incident might have occurred in Florida...although you can't tell for sure where the story happened, that's how journalistic it is. I can't find any original reporting, just editorialized wire repeats.
And--it reads like a Fat Moral Tale told by MeMe Roth. The wages of sloth are fat! He built his own prison!