PHOENIX – A man who eluded authorities for 40 years after a sexual assault conviction has been returned to New York state to serve his sentence after an investigation and arrest by Arizona Department of Transportation detectives.
Acting on a tip from the Social Security Administration, ADOT’s Office of Inspector General determined that Todd Matus, now 62, used the identity of a deceased Massachusetts resident, including name, date of birth and Social Security number, to obtain an Arizona driver license and a vehicle title and registration.
ADOT detectives arrested Matus on forgery and identity theft charges and then executed a search warrant at his Flagstaff apartment in August 2016.
After running Matus’ fingerprints at the Flagstaff Police Department, Matus’ true identity was revealed, along with the fact that he was a fugitive from justice in Suffolk County, New York, where he was convicted of sexual assault charges in 1976.
“Because of our detectives’ skills in identity theft cases, other state and federal agencies will come to us for assistance,” said Michael Lockhart, chief of ADOT’s Office of Inspector General. “We’re pleased to be able to help bring this fugitive out of hiding to serve his sentence.”
Matus was booked at Coconino County Jail on two counts of forgery, identity theft and the outstanding felony warrant out of New York state.
After serving time in jail in Arizona for forgery and identity theft, Matus was extradited to Suffolk County to serve his 15-year sentence for crimes there.
According to Suffolk County Police, Matus, who was out on bail when he fled in 1976, lived in Vermont, Nevada and Hawaii before coming to Arizona.