Fugitive Who Advised Muhammad Ali Nabbed

A Virginia lawyer who once was a close adviser to boxing champ Muhammad Ali (search) has been arrested after spending more than eight years as a federal fugitive.

Richard M. Hirschfeld (search), 57, was caught Friday by authorities who swarmed a mansion in Florida where he was living.

Agents found Hirschfeld hiding in a closet of the waterfront home in Fort Lauderdale, said FBI (search) agent Paul Russell, one of the arresting officers.

Hirschfeld was convicted of tax evasion and securities fraud in 1991, and was wanted on federal conspiracy charges when he was captured. He faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Hirschfeld became the subject of an international manhunt when he fled to Spain after being indicted in Norfolk in 1996. The indictment accused him of masterminding an illegal scheme to be furloughed from prison in the early 1990s.

Perhaps Hirschfeld's biggest claim to fame was his longtime relationship with Ali, which dated to around 1980.

Hirschfeld became Ali's attorney and one of his closest advisers, and accompanied Ali to the Middle East in 1985 in a highly publicized gambit to gain the release of American hostages.

The two men later broke ranks over the legal rights to Ali's life story.

In 1987, Hirschfeld and business partner Robert Chastain secretly taped Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos plotting to invade his homeland to regain power. Hirschfeld relayed the information to a U.S. Senate subcommittee.