The Colorado fugitive who was arrested in Florida was living a luxurious lifestyle and flaunting his wealth

The Colorado fugitive who was arrested in Florida was living a luxurious lifestyle and flaunting his wealth

A career fraudster who escaped from a Colorado federal prison nearly five years ago was caught this week while moving into a $1.5 million home near the ocean in Gold Coast, Florida, federal officials said Friday.

Alan Todd May, 58, was arrested by federal guards at home in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday while movers unloaded a U-Haul truck. According to the detectives who were watching him, he was wearing a Rolex at the time of his arrest, and he was driving a luxury Mercedes.

It was an anonymous tip that led the authorities to May – who was living under the name “Jacob Turner” – after he discovered a posted photo of him at a lavish fundraiser. The photo, which showed him wearing a pink T-shirt, pink jacket and rose-colored glasses, was published on the website of the Palm Beach Daily News.

this evaporates quickly He wasn’t exactly keeping a low profile.

May “led a lavish lifestyle as he flaunted his wealth in the high society of South Florida,” Katrina Cross, the deputy U.S. Marshal of Colorado, said in a phone interview Friday.

May – who has had a string of convictions since 1983 for bad checks, credit card misuse, theft and fraud – was in custody in Florida awaiting extradition to Colorado. His federal attorney general has been emailed seeking comment.

The US Marshals Service had been looking for May since December 2018, when he allegedly stole a US Bureau of Prisons truck and escaped from a federal prison in Inglewood, Colorado. At the time, he was serving a 20-year sentence for mail fraud over a $7 million Ponzi scheme that prosecutors said he used the proceeds for “exorbitant personal expenses,” including homes, cars, and plane tickets.

While in federal custody, May managed to steal another $700,000 by filing false documents and stealing unclaimed oil and gas proceeds that were owed to several companies, according to the June 2022 indictment that charged him with wire and mail fraud. .

By that time, May had already been hunting for 3 1/2 years, and the trail to capture him had long since turned cold.

He is one of dozens of people who have escaped from federal prisons in the United States over the past few years. Federal Bureau of Prisons Struggled with security In federal prisons across the country, with some prisons so lax in security that doors are left open, security cameras are broken and officials sometimes don’t notice an inmate is missing for hours.

Cross said May himself had an early start of 24 to 48 hours before the US Marshals Service was put into the case, giving him a distinct advantage.

After May was charged in the oil and gas scheme last year, the Marshals Service renewed its push to find him, enlisting the public’s help and posting a $5,000 reward. Then came tips from California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas and Florida.

The detectives’ big break came on July 25, when a guide recognized May in the newspaper photograph and alerted the guards. May had attended a fundraiser for a suicide hotline group in the Palm Beach area, snapping one of hundreds of photos taken at the event.

Investigators tracked May to a Palm Beach penthouse apartment. On Tuesday, they followed May’s partner in a U-Haul truck moving from Palm Beach about 50 miles (80 kilometers) away to the couple’s new address in Fort Lauderdale, where May was arrested without incident.

“I would like to identify and thank the anonymous informant for the information they provided that led directly to the arrest of this unconventional fugitive,” Colorado County Marshal Kirk Taylor said in a written statement.

With May finally back in custody, the detectives turned their attention to whether he got help. They are looking into the source of his apparent wealth, and whether he sacrificed anyone else while on the run.

“This guy is very, very good at fooling people,” Krause said. “So how he was living high up in the hog, we’re not 100% sure yet.”

A message was left for the suicide hotline group for information about May attending the fundraiser. The man pictured with May declined to comment on Friday when contacted by The Associated Press.

A LinkedIn page linked to May stated that “Jacob Turner” — his pseudonym — was a “certified mediator” in Palm Beach, and it turns out that May completed a class on mediation while in prison.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” Krause said.


Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this story.

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