A profession fraudster who escaped from a federal jail in Colorado almost 5 years in the past was captured this week whereas shifting right into a $1.5 million home close to the ocean on Florida’s Gold Coast, federal officers stated Friday.
Federal marshals arrested Alan Todd Might, 58, on the home in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday whereas movers unloaded a U-Haul truck. He was carrying a Rolex watch on the time of the arrest, and drove a high-end Mercedes, based on investigators had been surveilling him.
It was an nameless tipster who led authorities to Might — who was dwelling beneath the identify “Jacob Turner” — after recognizing a printed picture of him at a fancy fundraiser. The picture, which confirmed him carrying a pink shirt, pink blazer and pink-tinted glasses, was printed on the web site of the Palm Seashore Every day Information.
This fugitive wasn’t precisely conserving a low profile.
Might “was dwelling a lavish life-style the place he was flaunting his wealth in excessive society down in south Florida,” Katrina Crouse, chief deputy U.S. marshal for Colorado, stated in a telephone interview Friday.
Might — who has a string of convictions going again to 1983 for dangerous checks, bank card abuse, theft and fraud — was in custody in Florida awaiting extradition to Colorado. An e-mail was despatched to his federal public defender looking for remark.
The U.S. Marshals Service had been searching for Might since December 2018, when he allegedly stole a U.S. Bureau of Prisons truck and escaped from a federal lockup in Englewood, Colorado. On the time, he was serving a 20-year jail sentence for mail fraud over a $7 million Ponzi scheme during which prosecutors stated he used the proceeds for “extravagant private bills,” together with homes, automobiles and aircraft tickets.
Whereas in federal custody, Might managed to steal one other $700,000 by submitting fraudulent paperwork and pilfering unclaimed oil and fuel royalties that have been owed to a number of corporations, based on a June 2022 indictment charging him with mail and wire fraud.
By then, Might had already been on the free for 3 1/2 years, and the path to catch him had lengthy since gone chilly.
He’s one among dozens of people that’ve escaped from federal prisons within the U.S. over the previous couple of years. The federal Bureau of Prisons has struggled with safety at federal prisons throughout the nation, with some prisons having such lax safety that doorways are left unlocked, safety cameras are damaged and officers typically don’t discover an inmate is lacking for hours.
Might himself had a head begin of 24 to 48 hours earlier than the U.S. Marshals Service was placed on the case, giving him a transparent benefit, Crouse stated.
After Might was indicted within the oil-and-gas scheme final yr, the marshals service renewed its push to search out him, asking for the general public’s assist and posting a $5,000 reward. Suggestions then got here in from California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas and Florida.
Investigators’ huge break got here on July 25, when the tipster acknowledged Might within the newspaper picture and alerted the marshals. Might had attended a fundraiser for a Palm Seashore space suicide hotline group, posing for one among tons of of pictures taken.
Investigators tracked Might to a penthouse condominium in Palm Seashore. On Tuesday, they adopted Might’s accomplice in a U-Haul shifting truck from Palm Seashore nearly 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the couple’s new handle in Fort Lauderdale, the place Might was arrested with out incident.
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“I’d like to acknowledge and thank the nameless tipster for the data they offered that straight led to the arrest of this unorthodox fugitive,” District of Colorado U.S. Marshal Kirk Taylor stated in a written assertion.
With Might lastly again in custody, investigators have turned their consideration as to whether he had assist. They’re trying into the supply of his obvious riches, and whether or not he victimized anybody else whereas on the run.
“This man could be very, excellent at fooling folks,” Crouse stated. “So how he was dwelling excessive on the hog, we’re not 100% certain but.”
A message was left for the suicide hotline group looking for details about Might’s attendance on the fundraiser. The person who was pictured with Might within the picture declined remark Friday when reached by The Related Press.
A LinkedIn web page related to Might stated that “Jacob Turner” — his alias — was a “licensed mediator” in Palm Seashore. Might, it turned out, had accomplished a category on mediation whereas in jail.
“You possibly can’t make these things up,” Crouse stated.
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Related Press. Related Press author Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this story.