Australian Fugitive Found in Idaho Falls

Michael Hand

A few weeks ago the town of Idaho Falls was seen on multiple headlines around Idaho. A seventy-three-year-old man, Michael Hand, one of Australia’s most wanted men, was found lying low in Idaho Falls under the alias of Michael Jon Fuller after he had been missing for thirty- five years. He was approached at a local grocery store by Peter Butt, the “60 Minute Australia” reporter, but had nothing to say to the press.
This is where the story of the Australian fugitive begins. Near the Australian city of Lithgow on June 19, 1980 Michael Hand disappeared out of Australia only a few days after his business partner, Frank Nugan was found dead after an apparent suicide. The Nugan Hand bank had crashed with more than 50 million dollars in debt leaving a devastating toll on the Nugan Hand bankers and shortly after the crash Michael Hand was nowhere to be found.
Accused of drug trafficking, money laundering, and claims of murder, CIA spies were also involved in Michael Hand’s past. A Sydney author had tracked Michael to the city of Idaho Falls and “60 Minutes Australia” had condemned Michael Fuller, (Michael Hand’s alias) as a wanted criminal from Australia. It is also said that Hand is the creator of TOPS Knives a company that he started himself and had originated out of his garage and Hand also served as a Green Beret in the U.S Army during the time of Vietnam where he received military honor for his service. After his service Hand or Fuller moved to Australia with his family and a friend from the service, Frank Nugan for a short period of time. It was there that the two men built their company, Nugan Hand bank, but Hand moved due to death threats he received after the downfall of the company that he worked for and the fact that his partner was found dead.
A private Investigator from Boise has stated that Michael Fuller is in fact an alias and that Michael Hand is his real identity. Peter Butt also stated that Michael Hand had been involved with the FBI in the 1960’s, but because Hand was allowed to live in America it could be suggested that Hand could have been some sort of informant for the FBI during that time. Although there is proof that Michael Fuller is indeed Michael Hand there is no evidence or warrants out for Hand’s arrest. The only charges against the Fuller where two charges due to the failure to use a seat belt and one no insurance violation. The insurance violation was waved, but Fuller was charged ten dollars for each seat belt violation. The local Deputy and Sergeant in charge has stated that if Australia had sent out the warrant for the arrest then his office would be responsible, but until there is more on the case Michael Fuller will not be arrested. Since Hand had been found he has stepped down from his position of President of TOPS Knives; however, the company says that Fuller’s decision had nothing to do with the Australian sixty-minute story.

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