November 1, 2000

Contact: USMS Office of Public Affairs, (202) 307-9065
Eastern District of Virginia, (703) 274-2013

Marshals Service "15 Most Wanted" Defrauded Banks of Millions

Director John Marshall of the United States Marshals Service announced today the addition of John Ruffo to the Service's "15 Most Wanted " list. Ruffo has been wanted by the Marshals Service Eastern District of Virginia since November 1998, after he failed to self surrender to begin serving the seventeen-and a-half year prison term to which he had been sentenced.

After being named in a 150-count indictment charging him with bank fraud, money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy, Ruffo was arrested by the FBI in 1997 and released on a $10 million bond. He and a co-defendant had set up a fraudulent business scheme through which they had defrauded United States and foreign banks of $350 million. Approximately $13 million of the money has still not been recovered.

Ruffo pled guilty to all counts of the indictment in April 1998 and was sentenced to seventeen-and a-half years in Federal prison. At the time of his sentencing Ruffo's bail was continued and he was ordered by the court to self surrender on November 9, 1998. He became a Federal fugitive after failing to show up at the Federal Correctional Institution Fairton in New Jersey to begin his prison term.

Director Marshall said, "Ruffo may have access to monetary resources which could be helpful to him in evading capture. But, the Marshals Service is determined to see his days as a fugitive brought to an end."

John Ruffo is a 45-year-old white male with brown eyes and brown (balding) hair. He is 5- feet-5- inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. Anyone with information about this fugitive should contact the closest U.S. Marshals Service office, or the Marshals Service headquarters at 1-877- WANTED2 or 1-877-926-8332.

Additional information about this and other fugitive cases may be found on the Marshals Service website at

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