Fugitive on the run for 23 years is 'spotted on TV in the crowd at LA Dodgers game'

Fugitive on the run for 23 years is 'spotted on TV in the crowd at LA Dodgers game'
US Marshals Service

After being on the run for 23 years, US law enforcement officials believe they’ve spotted a highly wanted fugitive - after an eagle-eyed TV viewer spotted him enjoying a Los Angeles Dodgers game.

US Marshals have named John Ruffo as one of their 15 most-wanted fugitives in a statement this week. Ruffo, who was convicted of a $350m bank fraud scheme in 1998, was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison.

Prior to the possible sighting at the baseball game, Ruffo was last seen using an ATM in New York City in 1998. The fugitive was released on a $10 million bond and "ordered to report to a federal prison in New Jersey on Nov. 9, 1998" — but he never showed. An arrest warrant was quickly issued the next day but it was too late as Ruffo had disappeared and covered his last tracks.

The Marshals revealed that they received a tip back in September 2016 claiming that a person resembling Ruffo was sitting behind the plate at the highly anticipated game against the Boston Red Sox. The man, who was wearing a blue shirt, was hiding in plain sight and seated in Seat 10 of row EE in section 1 of the Dugout Club.

Though they have not been able to identify the man in the footage, US Marshals shared that investigators were able to identify the purchaser of the seats. The man on the run is believed to be currently using an alias.

He is also 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.”

Now, authorities are turning to the public for help and are asking anyone with information to come forward. Anyone who helps find the 66-year-old could be given a reward of up to $25,000.

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