Man at Dodgers game was not wanted by criminal John Ruffo, marshals say


The US Marshals Service claims that a man who appeared in video footage of a Los Angeles Dodgers game in 2016 bears only a “strong resemblance” to John Ruffo and is not the criminal himself. more sought after.

The marshal’s service previously said Ruffo, a fugitive who has been on the most wanted list for 23 years, could have been seen the baseball game. Ruffo was convicted in one of the biggest bank scams in US history.

But on Thursday, authorities ruled out a sighting of Ruffo after receiving new information.

“In response to the recent widespread media coverage, an informant has stepped forward and provided credible information about the identity of the Dodgers contestant,” said the US Marshals. said in a press release. “The tipster and family members were fully cooperative with law enforcement and provided detailed information about the participant.”

Authorities verified the identity of the man during the baseball game using, among other measures, fingerprints, according to several reports.

Earlier this week, the Marshals Service issued a press release saying it was “asking for the public’s help in identifying a participant in the 2016 Dodgers game who investigators say strongly resembles one of the 15 most wanted fugitives. who has been on the run since November 1998 “. also announced a reward of up to $ 25,000.

Footage from the baseball game, which took place on August 5, 2016, shows a man who fits Ruffo’s description sitting behind the plate.

Marshals’ service published an image that focused on the man at the baseball game, as well as a rendering of what Ruffo “might look like today”.

Earlier:US Marshals suspect most wanted fugitive on the run for 23 years was at a Dodgers game

Ruffo, who is now 66, was convicted in 1998. He and several accomplices tricked banks into funding a bogus research project they claimed was for a tobacco company. About $ 13 million of the money Ruffo stole was never recovered.

He was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison, but after being found guilty he remained free on bail. He allegedly fled via a New York airport instead of showing up to a federal prison in New Jersey.

The US Marshals said in a statement earlier this week that they “have pursued hundreds of leads across the country and around the world in search of Ruffo.” They also noted that Ruffo “was called a master manipulator”.

Contribution: Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY

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