On Dec. 21, 1987, political con man and thief David Friedland — who had been missing for two years, and who his lawyer had once insisted was dead — popped up in dramatic style, under arrest in the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean.
The former New Jersey state senator had vanished while scuba diving in September 1985, not long before he was to be sentenced for his crimes. While authorities investigated a presumed drowning, Friedland had actually fled to Europe with his girlfriend and was living in luxury off money he ripped off from the Teamsters pension fund.
Friedland’s last-chance offer to avoid justice by converting to Islam (the Maldives will not extradite a Muslim citizen) failed. He ended up serving 15 years in prison.