Real Name: Todd Mueller (at time of broadcast)
Aliases: Pepito D'Bayan
Wanted For: Fraud, Forgery, Escape
Missing Since: July 15, 1991
Details: Twenty-three-year-old Todd Mueller is a career con-artist who has counterfeited papers in order to squander the fortunes of other people. On August 20, 1990, Mueller turned up at a Maui bank in Hawaii going by the name of Pepito D'Bayan. He claimed that he was the representative for his aunt's estate. He asked to take the funds from her account and put them in his account. He also wanted to deposit a check into the account. Finally, he wanted to transfer $20,000 to his associate, Julian Bilamont, in Honolulu. The bank employee was suspicious of "D'Bayan" so he asked him to come back an hour later. When he came back, he was arrested on suspicion of forgery.
At first, Maui police had no idea who they had in custody, as he was carrying more than fifteen false identification cards. Eventually, they identified him as Mueller. He was released on bail. Three months later, on December 3, 1990, he showed up at a bank in Honolulu under the alias Arthur Ayona. He told the employee that he was named the personal representative of the estate of a man named George McLaughlin. He wanted to take the funds from George's account and place them in a new checking account in his name.
Investigators believe that Mueller looks at obituaries in newspapers and takes names from there to place on court documents. He would use copy machines to forge these documents, making them appear legitimate to bank employees. The documents would name him as executor to the person's estate. The fake documents and phony checks allow him to steal thousands of dollars from banks throughout Hawaii.
However, his work was sometimes less than perfect. For example, one of the checks he had was from the "Bank of Boise, Iowa" which does not exist (it is believed that he meant Boise, Idaho). He also made suspicious moves, such as withdrawing $31,000 from the account he opened in Honolulu. The bank manager contacted the police, believing the probate documents to be false.
Once again, Mueller was arrested; however, he again posted bail and was released. When investigator Henry Nobriga attempted to get a search warrant for Mueller's home, Mueller himself called him, saying that a warrant was not necessary. He claimed that he would voluntarily let Nobriga search his home. However, when Nobriga arrived at the home, all of Mueller's possessions were gone.
One week later, at the Oahu Corrections Facility, Mueller's former cellmate Roy Hartsock was told that he was being paroled. He claimed that he was not supposed to be released until February; however, a court order had been issued, requesting his immediate release. Three weeks later, investigators discovered that Mueller had forged the release documents.
Mueller also pretended to be a New York police officer, calling investigator Nobriga and claiming that he had been arrested there. In reality, Mueller was staying at an expensive hotel in Chicago. Hotel employees were suspicious of his behavior, especially with the large amounts of cash he was carrying. They told him that the hotel was overbooked and he had to leave. However, he called the hotel's toll free reservation service and booked a room across the hall.
The hotel's employees checked his other room, finding several forged checks. They also discovered that he had made several calls to Honolulu. One of the calls was to investigator Nobriga. When Chicago police arrived to arrest him, they instead found Hartsock, his former cellmate. As they questioned Hartsock in the hotel room, Mueller appeared and was immediately arrested. This time, he was not allowed to have bail.
Hartsock was returned to Hawaii to complete the rest of his sentence. Mueller was charged with forgery, fraud, and robbery. He was held at the Cook County jail, awaiting trial. Six months later, he was taken to a hospital emergency room, claiming that he had swallowed a razor blade. He was handcuffed to his hospital bed and a guard was placed outside his room. Somehow, he was able to escape. He has not been seen since. However, he has called investigator Nobriga several times, claiming that he is going to turn himself in. He last contacted Nobriga on July 15, 1991. He is wanted on a total of forty felony counts. Not surprisingly, he has not remained in custody long enough to stand trial.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the January 29, 1992 episode.
Results: Captured. On December 19, 1991, Mueller was arrested on fraud charges in New Jersey under the alias "Kenneth Maxwell". He was arrested after he used a stolen embossing machine to make fake American Express cards and gamble with them in New Jersey. He was then placed in a New York jail to await trial. FBI agents recognized him from the broadcast and positively identified "Maxwell" as Mueller.
Mueller's real name was later determined to be David Livingston. While awaiting trial on the New Jersey fraud charges, he impersonated an Assistant United States Attorney and unsuccessfully attempted to escape from federal custody. In October 1992, he pleaded guilty to the New Jersey charges and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison. In July 1993, he pleaded guilty to charges of attempted escape and impersonation of a federal officer. He was sentenced to three years in prison. He was later sentenced to eleven years and two months for other crimes. He served his time and was released from prison in October 1999.
Just a few months later, in March 2000, Livingston was arrested again, charged with defrauding a Japanese businessman. In December, he was convicted of those charges and sentenced to eleven years in prison. In April 2008, he pleaded guilty to violating his supervised release and was sentenced to four years in prison. He was released from federal custody in July 2015.
- Chicago-nabbed suspected master forger wanted here - January 8, 1991
- Escapee returned - January 21, 1991
- Todd Mueller, fugitive and rascal, always captivates his captors - July 28, 1991
- Isle forgery 'ace' to be subject on TV show - November 13, 1991
- Episode focuses on fugitive who bilked Island banks - November 18, 1991
- Judge acquits prisoner accused of escape via bogus documents - January 28, 1992
- Escape artist Mueller found in FBI custody - February 2, 1992
- Scam artist facing array of charges - March 15, 1992
- Suspect accused in estate funds theft - May 28, 1993
- Rikers 'Houdini' Con Busted - May 3, 2000
- Rikers Con a Conman Even in Jail - May 29, 2000
- United States v. Livingston - December 21, 2001
- Maxwell v. United States - April 9, 2012