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For Immediate Release

Contact:
October 05, 2021 Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
Submit a tip using USMS Tips or call 877-WANTED2
U.S. Marshals Seek Public’s Help to ID Dodgers Game Attendee
Who Resembles a Most Wanted Fraudster
$25K reward offered for fugitive subject of ABC News Investigates podcast

UPDATE:

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.

U.S. 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.

Although this specific tip is considered closed, we continue to ask the public to be on the lookout for John 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.

John 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 to identify.

Unidentified man at Dodgers game

Unidentified man at Dodgers game

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
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.

In 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. 

John RUFFO (age progession photo)

An 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.

Wanted Poster for John Ruffo (English)

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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