National Check Fraud Center
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Special Bulletin
Wanted Person
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As of the date of entry, all persons depicted are being sought by law enforcement for valid outstanding warrants or as a suspect in a crime for identification purposes. Do not attempt, under any circumstances, to apprehend any persons depicted. All persons may be considered armed and dangerous by law enforcement. No part of this information may be reproduced without express written permission from the National Check Fraud Center.

John Ruffo is wanted by the United States Marshals Service. A white male, Ruffo was born in New York City on November 26th, 1954. He is one-meter, sixty-five centimeters tall. He weighs seventy-seven kilograms. Ruffo has brown receding hair and brown eyes. He may have a mustache and may be wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses. Ruffo is known to have visited Italy and Aruba. He is believed to be traveling on a forged or stolen U.S. passport. He may have a considerable amount of money in his possession. Ruffo likes expensive restaurants and drinks moderately. He wears expensive business suits. He often pretends to have links to U.S. law enforcement agencies. He is a computer expert. Some have said Ruffo resembles "Vinnie" in the movie "My Cousin Vinnie.".

Violating Conditions of Release
SEX:              Male
RACE:             White
DATE OF BIRTH:    November 26, 1954
HEIGHT:           5'5"
WEIGHT:           170 LBS
EYES:             Brown
HAIR:             Brown
SKINTONE:         N/A
SSN:              134-46-6051
NCIC#:            W116118494
NCIC FPC:         PO 12 09 12 15
                  PI DI 05 CI 15

WARRANT ISSUED:   Eastern District of
                  Virginia (Richmond)
DATE OF WARRANT:  November 10, 1998

Case Details: John Ruffo and his associate, Edward (ED) J. Reiners, developed an elaborate scheme which defrauded more than ten banks of $350 million dollars.  Reiners, a former employee of Phillip Morris, went to several banks and pretended that he was in charge of a “top-secret” project for the tobacco company.  Ruffo introduced himself as being in charge of purchasing computers for this phantom project.  Reiners and Ruffo used the money that they borrowed from the banks to invest in the stock market.  According to investigators, both lost miserably in the market. 

Over the course of two years, the "project" that Ruffo and Reiners thought up kept growing and growing.  Nine US and international banks were on-board.  The con men met with Vice Presidents from these banks, convincing them to hand over hundreds of millions of dollars to the bogus operation.  The plan unraveled when an official from the Long Term Credit Bank of Japan called Phillip Morris and asked for Reiners.  He was shocked to hear that Reiners hadn't worked there in almost three years.

The con men were arrested and convicted.  Reiners is currently serving a 16 and a half year sentence. 

In March 1996, John Ruffo was convicted of one-hundred sixty counts of bank fraud, money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy. He cost several foreign and U.S. banks more than three-hundred fifty million dollars. Ruffo pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seventeen years in prison. Ruffo was released on ten-million dollars bail. On November 9th, 1998, authorities ordered him to report to prison in Fairton, New Jersey. Ruffo never did. Later that day, Ruffo’s rental car was found at JFK airport. Authorities had believe John Ruffo had escaped American jurisdiction, however Ruffo was last seen April 3, 2001, in Duncan, Oklahoma where he attempted bank fraud with two local banks.  This time the scam involved $250,000,000.00 incoming wire transfers from Nigeria.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO APPREHEND THIS PERSON YOURSELF.  If you have any information concerning John Ruffo, you should contact the nearest US MARSHALS OFFICE,  U.S. embassy or consulate. Or call the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-800-336-0102. The identities of individuals who furnish information will be kept in strict confidence. The U.S. will pay an appropriate reward for information that leads to the arrest of John Ruffo.


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