Who is John Ruffo and where is he now?

BANK robber John Ruffo has escaped detection for 23 years and a new documentary explores how he has remained hidden.

The ABC documentary, Have You Seen This Man? elaborates on the ways in which Ruffo may have disappeared and the charges against him.

Who is John Ruffo?

John Ruffo was a computer salesman in 1998 when he was convicted of wire fraud and money laundering in excess of $350million.

Investigators were stumped when Ruffo disappeared after his ankle bracelet was removed and he was due to self-report to prison to serve a 17-year sentence.

Although the US Marshall has searched for 23 years, they have been unsuccessful in finding the convicted conman.

Ruffo's disappearance remains the biggest cold case in US history. His then-wife, Linda Lausten, lost everything when Ruffo vanished, taking $13million of the stolen money with him.


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The government seized Lausten and five other family members' houses to pay for the debt and she told WSJM she wants him found more than anything.

“I’d like to face him,” she said. “I kind of what to tell him what he did to his family, what he did to me. I want to know how you can do that.”

Why haven't the authorities found him?

John Ruffo was required to self-report to prison in 1998 but never showed. A warrant was issued for his immediate arrest the following day but he was never found.

His last known location was at John F. Kennedy International Airport where he drove a car rental he had picked up in Manhattan.

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He withdrew money from a nearby ATM before disappearing for more than two decades.

An award of $25,000 was issued for anyone with information about his disappearance but no one came forward.

The US Marshall's Department received a tip in September 2016 from someone who said someone had allegedly seen Ruffo at a Dodgers vs Red Sox game in Los Angeles.

Investigators reviewed the footage from the game and located the man but the US Marshal said they were unable to identify if the man was Ruffo.

How can I watch the John Ruffo documentary?

The John Ruffo Hulu original series documentary, Have You Seen This Man?, premieres on March 24, 2022.

The Hulu description of the documentary says, "(John Ruffo) rented a Ford Taurus. Drove to Queens to turn in the ankle monitor he had been wearing. He took $600 out of an ATM. Headed to JFK airport. And vanished.

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"… The crime he had committed was outlandish. Using forged documents and fake corporate seals, he persuaded banks to loan him $350 million.

"He invented a nonexistent proposition that he called “Project Star” and he used the money to gamble the millions on the stock market, becoming one of Wall Street’s On a brisk day in November 1998, a doughy balding Brooklyn computer salesman was supposed to report to prison to begin serving a 17-year sentence."

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