- John Ruffo vanished after being sentenced to 17 years in prison for bank fraud in 1998.
- US Marshals said Tuesday they think they spotted him in footage from a 2016 LA Dodgers game.
- Ruffo was last seen using an ATM in New York City in 1998, the Marshals said.
US law enforcement officials think they have spotted a “15 Most Wanted” fraudster, who had been missing for 23 years, at a 2016 LA Dodgers game.
John Ruffo, 66, was convicted of a $350 million bank fraud scheme in 1998 and sentenced to 210 months — or 17-and-a-half years — in prison.
Ruffo was released on a $10 million bond, but never showed up to begin his sentence at a New Jersey federal prison on November 9, 1998.
In a statement Tuesday, the US Marshals Service said it thinks it spotted Ruffo in video footage from an August 5, 2016, LA Dodgers game, and asked anyone with information to come forward.
The Marshals said they received a tip in September 2016 saying that a person resembling Ruffo, wearing a blue shirt, was sitting behind the plate at the the Dodgers game against the Boston Red Sox. The man believed to be Ruffo was seated in Seat 10 of row EE in section 1 of the Dugout Club, the statement said.
“While investigators were able to identify the purchaser of the seats, they have not been able to identify the man in the blue shirt,” the Marshals statement said.
The last known sighting of Ruffo was in 1998, when he was seen on camera using an ATM in New York City.
Ruffo is listed among the Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wanted criminals at large and was the subject of ABC News’ podcast “Have You Seen This Man?”
Around $13 million stolen by Ruffo is still missing, the Marshals statement said.
Shortly after he vanished, US Marshals found a rental car he had hired at the long-term parking lot at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, the statement said.
“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,” the statement said.
In a 2020 statement, the US Marshals Service said that Ruffo was known as “a master manipulator.”
“He is known to be computer savvy and enjoys fine wines, gambling, and nice hotels,” the statement said. “Ruffo was known to be a storyteller, someone who liked to stretch the truth, and had a desire to impress others.”