In the history of con artists, the name John Ruffo make it to the top-tier list. He not only swindled an estimated $350 million from different banks but also managed to disappear after being convicted in the late 1990s.
So, where is he now? Is he still alive? What’s his net worth and family status? Find answers as you scroll down.
Meet John Ruffo, The Subject Of Hulu’s Have You Seen This Man?
Hulu’s three-part true-crime docuseries “Have You Seen This Man?” premiered on March 24, 2022, and it looked into the case of John Ruffo — a con artist who pocketed an estimated $350 million.
John’s fraud was deceptive in its simplicity. He teamed up with Edward J. Reiners, a former executive Edward J. Reiners from the Phillip Morris tobacco company, and devised a false story about super-secret research named “Project Star” to develop smoke-free cigarettes in the early 1990s.
As for John’s role in this project, he supposedly supplied computer hardware and consultation services.
So, as millions poured in from banks, John spent some of it on himself, while he reportedly gambled away to the rest on the stock market.
John’s fraudulent scheme then came to light in the late 1990s. He was then arrested and sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison, with a bail set to $10 million. But surprisingly, he managed to convince various family members to lend him the bail amount and got himself out of custody.
Once John was released temporarily, he never self-reported to prison.
Where Is John Ruffo Now?
No one knows where John Ruffo is now. The man has been put up on the US Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list, with some officials claiming that he could be living overseas, probably in the Caribbean, South America, or Europe.
Also, some believed that the con artist had ties with Italy, Greece, and Switzerland before. So, he could be anywhere.
Furthermore, a reward of up to $25 thousand was offered for any information leading to the convicted hustler’s arrest.
John was last sighted in 1998 as he took out $600 from an ATM in Queens, New York. He then abandoned his car in the long-term parking of the John F. Kennedy International Airport and rented a Ford Taurus and disappeared.
Is John Ruffo Still Alive?
John Ruffo is likely still alive. With the amount he hustled, he might as well be leading a secluded life, just like the professor from Money Heist, minus the family.
The job of finding John now (as of 2022) has been assigned to an elite duo of investigators who have expertise in cold cases, Deputy U.S. Marshals Danielle Shimchick and Chris Leuer.
Reportedly, John has previously gone by the aliases Joshep Ruffo, John Russo, Jack Nitz, Bruce Gregory, John Peters, and Charles sanders.
Trivia: If John’s alive, he would be 68 years of age in November 2022. You can recognize him from his 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm) height, balding hair, and corrective glasses.
John Ruffo Family
John Ruffo might be a con artist but he comes from a modest Italian-American family. No wonder, they were there to help him when he was convicted and even put up their homes as collateral.
Unfortunately, John still chose to run away know knowing his wife, mother, and relatives would all forfeit their homes.
Even John’s attorney, Judd Burstein was surprised that this was how he repaired his family for their kindness.“To this day, it astounds me that somebody would do something like that and that to me is pure evil,” he explained.
As for his wife, Linda Lausten shared, “I cried for a year, every day. I had a rash on my face where the tears came down.” But no more. She is now remarried and actively involved in John’s search with the police.
Talking about John’s married life, he first met Linda while they were just kids growing up in New York. The two then tied the knot in May 1980 and brought in two beautiful daughters to this world.
Sadly, John’s mother died in a nursing home after the turmoil. She never saw him again.
John Ruffo Net Worth
John Ruffo’s net worth was estimated to be at least $10 million in 2022.
Reportedly, although all of John’s accounts have been frozen, there was still over $13 million that had was never recovered — which probably aided his escape as well.
Was John Ruffo At The Dodgers Game?
No, it wasn’t John but someone who looked like him at the Dodgers baseball game in 2016.
The lead about him being there came from one of John’s cousins Carmine Pascal.
Is John Ruffo Living In Italy?
Though investigators had a notion that John was living in Italy after finding a scrap of paper in his coat pocket, they never could find him. So, it’s unclear if he ever lived in Italy or not.
However, John did have a fondness for Italy.
What Are Documentary And Movie Based On John Ruffo?
As of 2022, Hulu’s t docuseries “Have You Seen This Man?” was the only TV show that featured John’s story.