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June 27, 2017

Philly man allegedly escaped from prison in 1970, collected nearly $500,000 in benefits

A 90-year-old Philadelphia man who allegedly escaped from prison nearly 40 years ago is accused of collecting almost half a million dollars in benefits since then.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that William Lewis escaped from a Maryland prison in 1970 and has lived under an assumed name ever since.

During that time period, Lewis allegedly illegally collected Social Security benefits, costing the government about $457,771.20.

Lewis is charged with two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of government funds and one count of Social Security fraud.

If convicted, he faces possible jail time and supervised release as well as restitution of the allegedly stolen government funds and an additional fine.