Washington, DC – On Oct. 7, the U.S. Marshals
successfully identified the man with a strong resemblance to John Ruffo
who was present at a Dodgers game on Aug. 5, 2016. In response to recent
widespread media coverage, a tipster came forward and provided credible
information as to the identity of the Dodgers game attendee. The tipster
and family members were fully cooperative with law enforcement and
provided detailed information regarding the attendee.
Marshals in the Districts of Eastern Virginia and Central California
confirmed the identity of the attendee and determined that he is not
John Ruffo. The U.S. Marshals greatly appreciate the public’s assistance
in providing tips to identify this individual and thank the family for
their cooperation and quick identification.
specific tip is considered closed, we continue to ask the public to be
on the lookout for
Ruffo and to report tips through
USMS tips (app or website) or by calling 877-WANTED2.
ORIGINAL NEWS RELEASE:
Washington, DC – The U.S. Marshals Service is asking
for the public’s assistance to identify a 2016 Dodgers game attendee who
investigators say strongly resembles a 15 Most Wanted fugitive who has
been on the run since November 1998.
Ruffo, now 66, was convicted of a $350 million bank fraud scheme in
the late 1990s and sentenced to 17˝ years in prison. Approximately $13
million of the money was not recovered. Ruffo is now the subject of an
ABC News Investigates podcast,
“Have You Seen This Man?”
In September 2016, USMS
investigators in the Eastern District of Virginia received a tip
indicating Ruffo had attended a Boston Red Sox/LA Dodgers baseball game
on Aug. 5, 2016, and that he was sitting behind home plate approximately
four rows up and wearing a blue shirt. A video clip from the game
confirms a white balding male with a mustache, wearing a blue shirt,
seated several rows behind home plate.
Investigators were able
to narrow the seat down to Section 1 Dugout Club, Row EE, Seat 10. And
while investigators were able to identify the purchaser of the seats,
they have not been able to identify the man in the blue shirt.
Investigators say public assistance with the identification of this man
is vital, and that if it is Ruffo, he is likely using an alias. The last
confirmed sighting of Ruffo was in 1998 at an ATM in New York.
The video screen grabs below show the man USMS investigators are seeking
Investigators hope to identify the man in the blue shirt seen in
Section 1 Dugout Club, Row EE, Seat 10 at the Aug. 5, 2016, game.
After his conviction for his role in one of the largest bank fraud scams
in American history, Ruffo was continued on a $10 million bond and
ordered to report to a federal prison in New Jersey on Nov. 9, 1998, to
begin serving his 210-month sentence. However, Ruffo never showed. An
arrest warrant was issued the next day, and U.S. Marshals quickly
uncovered his last known tracks.
Investigation revealed that on
Nov. 9, 1998, a rental car driven by Ruffo arrived at the long-term
parking lot at John F. Kennedy Airport. Ruffo is believed to have rented
the car earlier in the day in Manhattan. He also withdrew money from an
ATM on the way to JFK Airport.
Ruffo withdraws money from an ATM, Nov. 9, 1998. This is the last
known image of the fugitive.
Since 1998, U.S. Marshals have pursued hundreds of leads across the
country and around the world. While there have been numerous reported
sightings, the ATM photograph of Ruffo from Nov. 9, 1998, is the last
confirmed sighting of Ruffo.
Ruffo is known to have extensive
international connections through his time as a New York businessman. He
had previously traveled to Aruba and was known to show particular
interest in Italy, where he has also traveled in the past.
1998, Ruffo stood 5 feet 5 inches and weighed approximately 170 pounds.
He is known to be computer savvy and enjoys fine wines, gambling, and
nice hotels. He is reportedly lactose-intolerant. Ruffo was known to be
a storyteller, someone who liked to stretch the truth, and had a desire
to impress others. He has been called a master manipulator.
Given the strong international ties and likelihood that Ruffo is living
overseas, wanted posters have been translated into seven languages.
age-progression rendering reveals what Ruffo may look like today.
A reward of up to
$25,000 is offered for information leading
directly to Ruffo’s arrest. Anyone with information is urged to
contact the nearest
USMS District Office, the
U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102,
or submit a tip using USMS Tips.
Poster for John Ruffo (English)
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found
First Federal Law Enforcement Agency