On the run for 23 years, this most wanted fugitive may have been spotted during a Dodgers game
By Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN
The US Marshals Service is asking the public for help in identifying a man who investigators say strongly resembles one of its most wanted fugitives, on the run for 23 years.
John Ruffo was convicted in the late 1990s of a $ 350 million bank fraud scheme and sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison. He was given bail but never went to jail to serve his sentence.
About $ 13 million of the money was never recovered.
In September 2016, investigators learned that Ruffo, now 66, had attended a Boston Red Sox and LA Dodgers baseball game in Los Angeles a month earlier, on August 5, 2016, and that ‘he was sitting about four rows higher. of marble wearing a blue shirt, the Marshals Service said in a press release.
A video clip from the match confirmed that a man matching Ruffo’s description was seated several rows behind home plate. Prior to this possible 2016 sighting, Ruffo had not been seen since 1998 at an ATM in New York City, the Marshals Service said.
Investigators were able to reduce the seat to section 1 Dugout Club, row EE, seat 10. But even if they found the seat and identified the person who purchased the seats, they were unable to identify the man in the blue shirt. .
Ruffo is now the subject of the ABC News’ Have You Seen This Man? “
After his conviction for his role in what the Marshals Service says was one of the biggest bank scams in US history, Ruffo was posted $ 10 million bail and ordered to report to jail Federal District of New Jersey on November 9, 1998 to begin serving his 210-month sentence. But he never showed up.
An arrest warrant was issued the next day. US marshals discovered that on November 9, Ruffo drove a rental car to the long-stay parking lot at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He is believed to have hired the car earlier today in Manhattan and withdrew money from an ATM on the way to New York City Airport, the Marshals Service said.
Investigators say if the man in the blue shirt is Ruffo, he will likely use a pseudonym.
A “master manipulator” who loves “good wine, games and good hotels”
Since Ruffo’s disappearance, the Marshals Service claims to have tracked hundreds of leads across the United States and around the world. Although there have been several reported sightings of Ruffo, the ATM photograph is the last confirmed sighting.
Ruffo was 5ft 5in 23 years ago and weighed around 170 pounds, the Marshals Service said.
“He is known to be computer savvy and enjoys good wine, gambling and good hotels,” the press release said. “He would be lactose intolerant. Ruffo was known to be a storyteller, someone who loved to stretch the truth and had a desire to impress others. He has been called a master manipulator.
Due to his time as a businessman in New York City, investigators say Ruffo has a variety of international connections. He had traveled to Aruba and had become interested in Italy, where he was known to have traveled in the past.
Given these close international ties and the likelihood that Ruffo could live abroad, the sought messages have been translated into seven languages, the Marshals Service said.
A reward of up to $ 25,000 is offered for any information leading to Ruffo’s arrest.
The Marshals Service says anyone with information should contact the nearest district office or submit a tip through 877-WANTED2 or the agency’s app or website.
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