US Marshals Need Your Help For ID Dodgers Fan Who Looks Like A Scammer
WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) – The US Marshals are asking the public for help in identifying a man at a 2016 Dodgers game who investigators say looks like a fugitive on the run for more than 20 years.
The federal law enforcement agency on Tuesday renewed its call for help in locating the man who is on the FBI’s 15 most wanted list.
John Ruffo was convicted of a $ 350 million bank fraud scheme in 1998. The Brooklyn computer salesman was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison, but just before he began serving his sentence he hit the road.
Authorities released a surveillance photo of Ruffo stopping at an ATM the day he was supposed to report to New Jersey jail. This is the last known image of him.
On the same day, the Ford Taurus rented by Ruffo was found in a parking lot at JFK Airport in New York.
Lawyer Judd Burstein, who represented Ruffo after his arrest, told Dan Abram he was stunned when Ruffo fled.
“I was outraged because I had managed to get him out on bail for a fraction of the amount they wanted, because he was staying at his mother’s house and, I believe, his aunt’s house and his aunt’s house. ‘a cousin,’ said Burstein. “And I argued to prosecutors that it was better than a $ 20 million bond because no one ran away and left their mother, wife and aunt homeless.”
In 2016, Ruffo’s cousin, who lives in New Hampshire, was watching the Boston Red Sox play against the LA Dodgers on television when he saw a man who looked like Ruffo sitting just behind the plate at Dodger Stadium.
Investigators say someone else bought the ticket and gave it away, so the marshals were unable to confirm whether this man is actually Ruffo.
Burstein doesn’t believe the man who attended the game was Ruffo.
“He was much smaller in size,” said Burstein. “I mean, unless he’s been training in the gym every day since leaving in 1998, it’s not him.”
Burstein also says he doesn’t think Ruffo will be found.
“The guy who can walk into a consortium of banks and tell them ‘we’re making a deal for a secret government project involving Philip Morris and it’s so secret you have to lend us $ 350 million and we can’t even give you serial numbers on the computers we buy that you’re supposed to be secure by, ”said Burstein,“ If a guy who can accomplish this and get $ 350 million from a bank, I suspect run away and not getting caught is much easier for him.
The US Marshals released a photo of the progression by age of what Ruffo might look like today. They are offering a reward of up to $ 25,000 for information leading directly to Ruffo’s arrest.
The agency says anyone with information can contact the nearest USMS district office, the US Marshals Service Communications Center at 800-336-0102, or submit a tip using USMS Tips.
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