Man, 90, escaped jail in 1970 just by walking away

PHILADELPHIA - (AP) - An official says a 90-year-old man indicted on fraud charges spent 40 years on the lam after escaping from a Maryland jail in 1970 simply by walking away.

According to an indictment unsealed Tuesday in Philadelphia, William Lewis is accused of collecting more than $450,000 in retirement benefits that he wasn't entitled to from 1991 to March 2017.

Gerard Shields, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety, says Lewis was convicted in Wicomico County of breaking and entering and larceny and was sentenced to three years in jail in 1969. He escaped the next year from the Poplar Hill Pre-Release Unit, a facility for low-risk offenders.

Shields says while technically Lewis escaped, "he didn't scale fences or barbed wire. He simply walked away."

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