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Fugitive who escaped from Colorado prison caught after nationwide search

Allen Todd May, 58, is accused of running an oil money fraud scheme from prison that made more than $700,000.

DENVER — A man who escaped from a Colorado prison has been arrested in Florida after a nationwide search.

According to a release from the U.S. Marshals Service, 58-year-old Allen Todd May was arrested late Tuesday night at a home in Fort Lauderdale in a neighborhood where many of the homes are valued above $1 million.

May was sentenced in February 2012 to 20 years in federal prison after being convicted of mail fraud in Texas, according to the release. In January 2018, he was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institute in Jefferson County. The following December, he escaped from the minimum security camp. A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service said May escaped by driving off the property in a maintenance truck. That September, the U.S. Marshals Service issued a statement asking for the public's help finding May and offered a reward of up to $5,000.

On June 22 of this year, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging May with 10 counts of wire fraud and seven counts of mail fraud. The indictment alleges that while May was in prison, he identified several businesses that were owed unclaimed oil and gas royalties and then filed fraudulent documents to act as the representative of those companies to claim the royalties for himself. It's believed he obtained more than $700,000 in fraudulent claims, according to the release. He was also indicted for his escape.

RELATED: Escapee on the run after stealing more than $700,000 while in prison, indictment says

The release said the U.S. Marshals Service began receiving numerous tips about May which led investigators to pursue leads in California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas and Florida. One anonymous tipster began providing information about potential online profiles and websites May was possibly using under the alias "Cary Bailey." Investigators were unable to locate him. 

On July 25, according to the release, the same tipster provided a new tip and a photo of someone they believed to be May that had been published on the website of the Palm Beach Daily News. The caption under the photo identified the people in it as "Jacob Turner" and "Kevin Alvarez." The tipster also provided a LinkedIn profile under the "Jacob Turner" alias that listed mediation as a business, the release said, which was something investigators knew about May from his past. The new alias and the connection to the second man in the photo led investigators to a penthouse apartment in Palm Beach, Florida.

On July 31, deputy U.S. Marshals set up surveillance on the apartment but did not find May there. The next day, the release said, May's suspected partner was seen leaving the apartment in a U-Haul truck and U.S. Marshals followed him almost 50 miles to the Fort Lauderdale home. When they saw May come out of the home, they took him into custody. He was taken to the Palm Beach County jail. At his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday, May was ordered detained and will be transported back to Colorado to face charges.

“I’d like to recognize and thank the anonymous tipster for the information they provided that directly led to the arrest of this unorthodox fugitive,” said District of Colorado U.S. Marshal Kirk Taylor. “I would also like to thank and recognize the incredible tenacity of the Deputy U.S. Marshals who pursued every lead over the years in the District of Colorado, culminating in the arrest in the Southern District of Florida last night.  Their relentless pursuit of this fugitive and the coordination of the agencies involved is a true testament to the U.S. Marshals Service’s mission.”

Credit: U.S. Marshals Service
Allen Todd May

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